|Marga Gomez is appearing at The Marsh in San Francisco through October 23. .
Marga Gomez takes off like a firecracker in her 9th solo show Not Getting Any Younger playing at The Marsh in San Francisco. Lauded for her honesty as an out gay comedian before it was safe to be one, Gomez has actually been a master of deception - especially when it comes to revealing her actual age. Even Wikipedia doesn’t have it right and she’s the one who set it up, she confesses. Growing up in an era where children were seen and not heard, and no woman in her right mind would tell anyone her actual age (Marga’s mother claimed to be 21 forever), lying about her age came easily.
Especially when Marga wasn’t sure what the real numbers were. For every year she got older meant another number tacked onto her performer parents’ age. With a father who used shoe polish to cover his own grey hair and a mother who plucked the first grey one out of Marga’s head, it was “those people who couldn’t handle the truth” - according to Mom - who caused all the lying.
This 85-minute “coming of middle age” story begins with a clear analysis of the frightening lyrics of “Rock-a-Bye, Baby” and journeys through an idyllic childhood visit to a dairy cow’s boudoir (remember Elsie?) in the Bronx at Freedomland. Freedomland, a now defunct amusement park, sounded about as unreal in its re-creation of American history as Disneyland does fantasizing the lives of mice, dogs, ducks and elephants. The trip includes a hilarious twist contest to the music of Chubby Checker.
Enduring her childhood where parents assumed children were at fault if you got into trouble - if the nuns found you misbehaving, you suffered double punishment when you got home - Marga perseveres through soul crushing early years with the false hope that when she’s older she’ll be able to order children about. But in 2011, children call the shots, adults shoot botox and Gomez has to put up with monosyllabic young salesclerks calling her ma‘am, nearly driving her toward committing murder at a Forever 21 clothing store.
Before she unburdens herself to an audience member with her riskiest revelation, the audience is treated with spot-on comic timing as Marga morphs before our eyes from one character to the next including an ex-marine father hosting a birthday party that makes “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” into a hilarious, albeit frightening, childhood memory. This is a not-to-be missed solo show and Marga’s observations go well beyond the subject matter. Whatever age she is, it doesn’t show on Marga’s face. “To make up for economic hardship, God gave her Latin skin more elasticity.” And she just keeps getting better. So, be prepared to laugh!
Originally directed by Ellen Sebastian Chang, Not Getting Any Younger was work-shopped at The Marsh earlier this year and was presented Off-Off Broadway at Dixon Place and at the Bronx Academy of Art and Dance before returning to The Marsh, 1062 Valencia Street (at 22nd St.) where it plays through October 23, Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 8:30pm, Sundays at 3pm. For Tickets $15-$35, $50 reserved. www.themarsh.org or 415.282.3055.