Review: Lauren Weedman's 'Boise, You Don't Look a Day Over 149' at BCT


Lauren Weedman's play "Boise, You Don't Look a Day Over 149" takes shots at the City of Streets, but they all land right where they should. - JOSHUA ROPER
  • Joshua Roper
  • Lauren Weedman's play "Boise, You Don't Look a Day Over 149" takes shots at the City of Streets, but they all land right where they should.

Lauren Weedman seldom “steps” into a spotlight. She bounces, runs or shimmies and slides to center stage with moves that could land her a job as one of Neil Patrick Harris’ background dancers for next year’s Emmy Awards show. She stayed true to form for the evening performance of her latest solo play, Boise, You Don’t Look a Day Over 149, at Boise Contemporary Theater on Sept. 21.

With loud club music as her soundtrack, Weedman danced out of the wings to peals of laughter from the audience. She was dressed in a trip-to-the-grocery-store ensemble of a black T-shirt, jeans and black boots; her blonde, curly hair was piled loosely on her head; and the stage was set with nothing more than a black, metal music stand with index cards on it and water bottle on a stool. It all served to create an environment that felt less like a night at the theater and more like hanging out with that one funny friend everyone wants at their parties.

Simply put, Weedman is a brilliant storyteller. In that regard, Boise is no different from Bust and No… You Shut Up, both huge hits here. While two plays were deeply personal, Boise might actually braver: It is a play rife with inside jokes about a city that doesn't always cotton to outsiders. Boise is both a love letter to and fish-eye lens on our fair city, and it is a credit to Weedman’s comedic acuity—and her uncanny knack for finding the sweet spot between observational and self-revelatory humor—that the audience burst into stomach-clutching guffaws when she poked fun at the Boise State Broncos, Psychic Sheila, BCT’s Matthew Cameron Clark, the Western Idaho Fair and a couple of newspaper journalists. Yes, she was making fun of the City of Trees’ citizenry, but we were in on the joke.

And even though Boise was like a jam session, with Weedman flipping through the index cards, digressing in the middle of stories and muttering, “That was dumb,” to herself a couple of times, it didn't feel like we were watching Weedman rehearse. She was trying something new and it felt special. Standing onstage without a well-defined trajectory and confessing the kinds of fears and inadequacies that plague us all meant Weedman wasn’t really alone on that stage: We were all in it together. She might still live in Los Angeles but, with Boise, she is no longer one of “them.” She is one of us.

There are only two more chances to catch Boise, You Don’t Look a Day Over 149: Saturday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Boise Contemporary Theater, 854 Fulton St., 208-331-9224,