Message from the Artistic Director: Wishful Drinking

Posted on: September 22nd, 2009 by Todd Haimes

Like so many people, my familiarity with the creator and performer of Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher, started with a little movie called Star Wars, in which a funny hairdo (and later a gold bikini) turned her into an instant icon. Then came her buzzed-about marriage to Paul Simon, her well-publicized adventures with a variety of substances, and the dazzling book that came of those adventures, "Postcards From the Edge." To claim that Carrie has led an interesting life would be an understatement. It’s fair to say that this is a woman with more than enough material for a show about herself. And maybe a few sequels.

What’s wonderful is that Carrie is acutely aware of the inescapable navel-gazing nature of doing a solo piece, and she is upfront about the fact that her intent is not to go on stage every night and make you feel sorry for all of the difficulties that she has lived through. Rather, she takes responsibility for her own actions and says in one of my favorite lines in the show, “If my life weren’t funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable.”

Carrie’s willingness to laugh at the hard-to-believe life she has led is a great lesson for anyone who has ever tried to move on from disaster. And the laughs are plentiful. Whether addressing the failed marriage of her movie-star parents (Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher), the trials of living with bipolar disorder, or the oddity of discovering that you’ve been turned into a Pez dispenser, Carrie meets every obstacle in her path with the wit of a survivor.

For someone whose life seems incredible (this is a woman whose parents had Cary Grant call to tell her to stop using LSD – twice!), Carrie is refreshingly authentic and is simply herself onstage. She is funny, honest, bawdy, and a truly fantastic performer. There is no one else quite like her.

Carrie is one of the great comedic writers of her generation, and I’m thrilled to have her sharing her play and herself with us at Studio 54. And just as Carrie doesn’t hesitate to share every skeleton in her closet with the audience, I hope that you will share your thoughts on her show with me.

I look forward to seeing you at the theater!

Todd Haimes

Related Categories:
2009-2010 Season, Wishful Drinking

  1. jeri camer

    October 2, 2009

    You know how you hate when Celebraties talk about themselves, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH,. Well here is another one. Just awful. Who cares about Carrie Fisher and her life. Wasted my time and money. I hope the next Show on Roundabout is worth it.

  2. jen

    October 2, 2009

    its always amazing to me when people complain about stuff they should know about a show if they bothered to pay attention. if one hates celebs talking about themselves, why on earth would they spend time and money to see a show like Wishful Drinking? Duh.

    and as far as ‘who cares’, well, many do. her show has broken box office records around the country, and the book based on the show is a best seller (both in hard cover and paperback) I have adored Carrie since i was a little girl, and I cannot WAIT to see the show again this December. Coming from California just to do so! So thank you, Roundabout, for having Carrie!

  3. maya

    October 5, 2009

    I expect more from the Roundabout – place where I saw A Man for All Seasons, Waiting for Godot, Twelve Angry Men etc.
    Autobiography of Carrie Fisher might be of interest to those who like reading People magazine. Ms.Fisher is a good performer. It is just that I’d rather see her acting in a good play than telling the story of her life.
    Perhaps next time when you feel like doing an autobiography you could choose someone who did something more exceptional than drinking, partying and feeling bitter.
    For those wondering why I went to see it – well, I have a subscription, so it was not my personal choice of the show.
    By the way – I did love Star Wars!
    Well, I guess there has to be one really bad play at Roundabout every season.
    Disappointed by Roundabout, not by Ms.Fisher!

  4. ann

    November 9, 2009

    I totally agree with Jen. If these people had a shred of intelligence they would have known what the play was about and not have attended. I thought that Carrie Fisher was totally delightful and intelligent. She portrayed her life as she saw it. She didn’t make excuses nor she she blame anyone but herself. We were 4 in our group and all thoroughly enjoyed it.

  5. Vicki

    January 12, 2010

    Hooray for Carrie Fisher!!! The show is a complete joy and I hope that there is a SEQUEL. Carrie is a brilliant writer and entertainer, and completely brave and humble to bare all as she does so humorously.

    I’ve seen the show twice and I’m going to see the final performance on Sunday 1/17. I will truly miss Carrie’s presence in the NY scene. I had the fortune of meeting Carrie at the stage door. She is warm, friendly and loving. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to fall in love with Carrie Fisher all over again!

  6. On the Exhale: Solo Plays - Roundabout Theatre Company Official Blog

    February 24, 2017

    […] On the Exhale will be the first solo show at Roundabout since 2009, when Carrie Fisher performed Wishful Drinking. Before that show, the most recent solo shows at Roundabout were Beyond Glory with Stephen Lang […]



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