The other Kerry Bradshaw: One Woman Sex and the City show comes to the Rialto

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Courtesy Greg Gallinger | The Winnipeg Free Press

Kerry Ipema rehearses her performance of "One Woman Sex in the City" for her debut show at the 2016 Fringe Festival.

The Rialto Theatre will present "One Woman Sex and the City: A Parody on Love, Friendship, and Shoes" on Feb. 12. The show covers all six seasons of the HBO series distilled down to 90 minutes.

The show is in week two of its 11-week U.S. tour, which kicked off in Las Vegas and will visit over 40 cities.

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The star of the one-woman show, Kerry Ipema, co-wrote the show with her writing partner TJ Dawe, who directed the show and is traveling on tour with her as the stage manager.

Ipema said she and Dawe didn’t see talking about "Sex and the City" as work to them when talking about the show. The two discussed each season and distilled it down into the major themes and key points that they wanted to cover.

“We would build off of that and make new jokes and new puns, and what has been really fun has been approaching the material 12 years later," Ipema said. "It’s definitely a love letter to the series as well as nostalgia from the late '90s and early 2000s.”

Ipema said the show has puns that play off character Miranda's job as a lawyer and character Carrie's questions about advice.

“I think what makes the show so special and how it’s lasted so long in terms of our cultural knowledge of the show is that it really highlights the importance of female friendship," Ipema said. "After writing the show and performing it, that to me is the biggest takeaway."

Ipema plays 24 characters, from the four main stars to all their boyfriends to supporting characters. She wears one costume the entire show, and she said she paid very close attention to the shoes. Ipema said that from what she has understood, the audience has a quick grasp on telling the differences between characters.

Courtesy Greg Gallinger | The Winnipeg Free Press

Kerry Ipema rehearses her performance of "One Woman Sex in the City" for her debut show at the 2016 Fringe Festival.

“What’s been fun about exploring these characters and making them into a parody is the hope that every woman can identify with one of the four friends," Ipema said. "I dare say all of us have a little Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha in all of us."

Ipema said her biggest challenge of the show is not that she is playing 24 characters; it's the challenge of walking onto the stage in the blackout before the start of the show. 

“it’s just me on stage and it’s just me for an hour and a half," she said. "Like a Carrie, I go through the worst-case scenarios, but when I’m out there and I realize that the audience is on my team, it just feels like a fun hangout with my girlfriends."

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Jordyn Luna, a sophomore studying education, said she is a big fan of "Sex and the City."

"I think it's awesome that one woman can come and see another woman perform all these characters that fans of the show hold so near and dear to their hearts," Luna said.

Ipema said she tries to make it fresh for the audience each night by inviting them to participate in the show by sharing their own deal breakers or break-up stories, and Ipema reads them live to the audience.

“It’s a super fun way of engaging the audience and it’s kind of our way of having brunch where we're all sharing our own stories of these crazy moments that have happened to us, just like the show does,” Ipema said.

Ipema said the show is still in it’s infancy and the audience is coming along with them. She said it's inspiring to see women bringing their girlfriends, and every night she asks who is here with their friends, to which she hears a huge roar from the crowd.

“My only goal for the show is that these women can come together and have this shared experience with one another and leave feeling closer and happier,” Ipema said.

Ipema hopes people leave the show with a rekindled fire with their own love for the HBO series. She believes the iconic moments in the parody from the show will pop up, and she hopes this show creates a conversation and a smile that doesn’t leave the audience's faces.

“I think what the important takeaway right now is the importance of getting together in a room with a bunch of strangers and laughing and enjoying life," Ipema said. "The four women, they all have different backgrounds, opinions, ideas but they’re still friends and they still love each other and support one another, and I think our country could use that as a little more empathy and understanding, and I think that this is what this show emphasizes.”

The "One Woman Sex and the City" show will be performed at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 12. The show is open for all ages and starts at 8 p.m.


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