Renaissance Austin’s My Big Fat Bahookie

Lorella Loftus' really funny new play preaches that everybody's got back, and that's just great

Lorella Loftus as Marianne McGonigle in My Big Fat Bahookie (Photo by Errich Petersen)

Do you know where your bahookie is? If not, turn around and look at the seat of your pants. See? There it is, in all its glory.

Now that you've located your bahookie, how's your relationship with it? Have you told it "I love you" lately? When's the last time the two of you spent quality time together? Had an honest and loving talk? A satisfying meal? For God's sake, do the two of you even go out anymore?

Face it. Chances are you are not giving your bahookie the love and respect it deserves. In fact, you may have some feelings about your bahookie that are really bothering you. Maybe you need to have a serious team-building conversation with your bahookie – not the heavy, tear-stained, late-night ones you usually have, but something lighter. Something positive and self-affirming and fun. Maybe you should take a moment to tell your bahookie that it's awesome. Laugh at the ridiculous notion that your bahookie is somehow not worthy of love.

And maybe you need a facilitator for this conversation. Someone who's been there. Someone who's been duped by the diet and beauty industry into neglecting their bahookie. Someone who's sick of it and can pave the path to some crazy mad bahookie love. Enter Lorella Loftus, self-esteem samurai.

Loftus is the writing and directing power behind My Big Fat Bahookie, an evening of pure fun that fires back at the diet and beauty industry and demands the reclamation of your beautiful bahookie. And it's really, really funny. Loftus leads the charge as Marianne McGonigle, founder of the No More Diets Club. Together with a slew of memorable characters courtesy of castmates Melissa Vogt, Eva McQuade, Jacob Rosenbaum, Heidi Penix, Dillon Yruegas, Mindy Rast Keenan, Boye Nagle, Jennifer Haston, and Sandie Donzica, My Big Fat Bahookie explores everything from powdered eggs to power dancing, all in the hopes of giving your bahookie some much-needed love.

When someone in our current cultural climate (especially a woman) dares to stand up and say they are deserving of love in spite of not being perfect, there is always someone ready to use the word "brave," but honestly, I am so fucking sick of that. Loving one's self should not be an act of bravery. Loving one's self is an act of joy, and this show is bursting at the seams with joy. One message that Bahookie brings home time and time again is that there is no perfect, and so what. We are all whole and worthy, just as we are. By the end of the evening, I, along with the rest of the audience, had thrown up a metaphorical middle finger to those who would tell me my bahookie isn't amazing just the way it is. I sashayed out into the Vortex courtyard swinging my bahookie with no shame, and even though I hadn't dieted, I felt so much lighter, having thrown off the weight of self-deprecation.

So yeah, I'm not perfect. But I'm still pretty awesome. And if you can't handle it, well, then you can kiss my big fat bahookie.

My Big Fat Bahookie

The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 512/478-5282
Through May 6
Running time: 2 hr., 15 min.

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body image, Renaissance Austin, Vortex Repertory Company, Lorella Loftus, Melissa Vogt, Eva McQuade, Jacob Rosenbaum, Heidi Penix, Dillon Yruegas, Mindy Rast Keenan, Boye Nagle, Jennifer Haston, Sandie Donzica

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