Frankie McNair: “An Intimate Evening With Tabitha Booth” at Melbourne 2024

***** (out of 5)

In an alternate reality, the role of Liza Minnelli or someone like her was lived by Tabitha Booth, a star of stage and screen who starred in a version of the musical Cats that only lasted three nights on Broadway. After disappearing from the scene and culture entirely, she’s desperate for her big comeback. How desperate? You won’t believe your eyes or your ears for just what lengths Booth will go to receive the love and adoration from “all of the important people” who have definitely RSVP’d to see what she’s made of now. Will her stage manager botch everything, tho? Will Booth be seen in her own terms, or be reduced to pandering to fans who only remember her for her hit TV character, Long Fork Lady? She could’ve been a Bond girl, but as Booth explains, the casting director told her: “You have the hair. You have the body, but you look too excited holding a gun!”

Booth gives it her all in spite of it all. But the bare truth is this: McNair is too damn charismatic for a comeback, because she’s still on the come up. It’s perhaps fitting, then, that her show got stuck in the cramped quarters of the Flag Room in Melbourne Town Hall for a run that’s all too brief. McNair is a bona fide star in the making who deserves a much bigger stage.

Frankie McNair presents “An Intimate Evening with Tabitha Booth” through 7 April at the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

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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