“Greta Titelman’s Exquisite Lies” at Edinburgh Fringe 2023

**** (out of 5)

At the start of the hour, you’re not quite sure what you’re in for here, as Titelman emerges, talking to her hand as a fake phone, but taking her time settling in behind the mic, all while background piano threatens to drown it all out. Eventually it becomes clearer. Titelman’s act befits the New York City cabaret scene, where she came up through the ranks alongside the likes of Cat Cohen and Mary Beth Barone (who made her Fringe debut in this same room). Case in point: There’s a moment which finds Titelman bawling, crawling about toward an audience member, begging them: “Look at me!!!!” After a pause, she stands back up for the twist: “I’m perfect.” That confidence may be in full force now, but as she tells it, her self-esteem was quite lacking no matter the locale: Connecticut boarding school, Arizona college fraternities/sororities, or NYC retail. She found herself conjuring up lies in an attempt to fit in. Which, of course, begs the question: How much of this hour is based in reality?

This much is true: You’ve seen her on TV in recurring roles on Search Party as well as Los Espookys, and she also plays a part in Julio Torres’s new film, Problemista. And boy, can she sing. I may not be able to predict how long the writer and actor strikes will last in America, but it’s easy to picture Titelman eating up juicy musical roles off or on Broadway.

Greta Titelman’s Exquisite Lies runs through Aug. 27 at Pleasance Courtyard Upstairs

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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