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You’ll laugh, you’ll cry

It’s hilarious, provocative, edgy, heartwarming, heartbreaking and witty. 

Ann Randolph will make you laugh one minute, and then flip it as fast as she can and make you cry.

But it’s on purpose. 

It’s part of the powerful ride she takes her audience through during her solo theatrical performance, “Loveland.”

“Even though the show is hilarious, people are going on an emotional journey,” said Randolph, who calls Princeville home when she’s not touring her show across the country. “It’s not like a regular comedy. It’s hilarious, then poignant, hilarious, poignant. It flips constantly.”

The solo performance is based on the character Frannie Potts, an irreverent oddball trapped on a plane as she travels from California to Ohio to attend her mother’s funeral. 

Accompanied by a cast of characters, all portrayed by Randolph, the audience watches the tragedy, beauty and humor that unite people in times of grief. 

“She’s out of control,” Randolph said of the main character. “She’s not able to deal with the death.”

That inner pain manifests itself in aggression toward other passengers, inappropriate behavior, and uncontrollable sexual desires, among other quirks.

“It’s pushing the edge,” Randolph said of the outrageous humor. ”It’s definitely pushing the edge.”  

But on the airplane ride back to Loveland — Randolph’s real hometown — Potts also has flashbacks. Without changing costumes, Randolph plays the other characters and paints a picture on how Potts has been unraveling since her mother’s death.

And yes, besides a male pilot’s voice over the intercom, Randolph is each and every character.

“God blessed with me a rubber face and rubber body, so I can change characters pretty quickly,” said Randolph, who worked alongside “Saturday Night Live” legends Cheri Oteri and Will Ferrell at The Groundlings improvisation and sketch comedy theater in Los Angeles.

The San Francisco Examiner named her Best Solo Performer of San Francisco 2010 and The Washington Post reviewed her as outrageous and “inappropriate in all the right ways.”

While she does tour across the nation, she has performed on Kauai before, a place she’s called home for five years.

“Audiences here are amazing,” she said. “People keep coming back.”

And at the end of the 70-minute show, audience members are allowed to share their personal experiences, a way to complete the emotional journey. It’s a component that Randolph added to her show after people would approach her following a performance and share their own experiences with grief.

“I thought, ‘This is incredible.’ I thought, ‘Why not do this in the theater?’” Randolph said. “I love helping people tell their story … It brings this beautiful feeling of community.”

The show isn’t appropriate for people under 16. Loveland shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15 at Church of the Pacific, 4520 Kapaka Road in Princeville. Tickets cost $20 and can be reserved at Brownpapertickets.com or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

Info: www.annrandolph.com

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