A marriage of one in a cardboard kitchen

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As a follow-up to Christel Bartelse’s previous show, Oneymoon, in which her character married herself, Significant Me shows the happy or not-so-happy couple on their one-year wedding anniversary.

Bartelse (whose character’s name is Caroline) greets the audience with a beauty queen smile: forced and hiding the stress and panic underneath. Caroline is working hard in her kitchen to create a delicious meal for those who are to join her in the celebration, but she doesn’t have the full support of her friends and family. Cancellations soon roll in.

Caroline manages to keep a positive exterior as she hurricanes around her home completing preparations. The majority of props are made from cardboard, which creates a whimsical, Dr.Suess feel to the visuals. The cardboard props come with their own issues, but Bartelse is skilled at going with the errors, creating more comedy from them. Despite the rudimentary composition of her stove, Bartelse proudly glides around it as if she is a Price is Right model.

Bartelse’s energy and exuberance carry this show as she flits around the stage impersonating her family and friends, each with clear, individualistic qualities. Bartelse’s rapport with the audience is something to behold; she confides in them as if they are old friends.

As with any marriage, this one, too, has its pitfalls, and a couples tango class isn’t exactly easy when you are both partners.

Significant Me is a laugh-provoking look into what seems like the ideal marriage, but turns out to not be as convenient as one would think.

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