Ohen The Twist by Catherine Cohen…? She’s Gorgeous played on the Edinburgh fringe in 2019, I fell for her charisma and swagger, her wickedly funny songs laying bare the troubled soul of an unstable millennial, personality is performance. Belatedly, the show is now coming to Netflix, to answer the question: is the ecstatic self-absorbing comedy still flying on the other side of a global pandemic?
Fortunately, it does, with Cohen easily assimilating Covid into the story of her own, endlessly fascinating. If watching on TV can’t compete with close, personal contact with The New Yorker’s starburst personality, it’s still a cracking watch. Accompanied by Henry Koperski on piano, Cohen eagerly grabs the stage and the attention (“Watch me do comedy in a rhinestone romper!”) with this suite of songs and stand-ups about the workings of her life. and his fabulous and charged spirit.
And your attentiveness is richly rewarded with an act whose every aside, gesture and turn of phrase (“which I absolutely – foot-pop! – I love”) intensifies the spectacle of neurotic self-esteem. There are occasional sidesteps: A routine visit from a Chipotle makes staff sexism, rather than Cohen’s solipsism, the butt of the joke. But usually — as with the song about other people’s fitness regimes which soon recounts her own disastrous one-night stand — the joke comes back to Cohen and the staged car accident she crashes into her life. .
But what a rich joke, characterized by real complexity – as with a dark, comedic closing number delving into the contradictions of its romantic/erotic imagination, or with the plus-size clothing song, which incites the for-the-line d age “if I fuck this skinny guy, I won’t have a chubby girl to fight with in the dressing room”.
I’d be intrigued to see – as with her contemporary Bo Burnham – if this level of recursive self-involvement continues into Cohen’s 1930s (she’s now 31). Either way, given his flair for tangy social observation, his ruthless directness, and a voice that functions as both a comic and a musical instrument (all those refrains that crumble into nonsense), I will be absolutely listening to find out.