As you may imagine, the anthro-comedy about the late fashion provocateur Isabella Blow, titled “Blow Me,” has a great deal of style.
Produced by Mad Cat Theatre Company, and playing at the Miami Theater Center in Miami Shores, the original script by Jessica Farr has enough bon mots to earn a place at the Algonquin Round Table. They will land even better if you Google the subject beforehand to learn about Blow’s stalled career, the catwalk capers and her frequent suicide attempts.
That way, you will better appreciate the show’s star, Erin Joy Schmidt, who for 90 minutes with a 10-minute intermission, throws shade and commands the thrust stage, her eyes flicking up and down her co-stars, coolly appraising them before … well, you can imagine.
With Greg Weiner, Emilie Paap, Noah Levine and Matthew Glass playing 21 parts between them, “Blow Me” covers much ground, from Issie’s troubled childhood to her bipolar bouts. But somehow, we spend way too much time outside her, bogged down in the highlights of her life instead of getting inside her insecurities.
The closest we come is when Farr has Schmidt exclaim, “It's hard being a woman of my expectations. Nothing satisfies me. Do you know how many years I've lived to watch my prospects run out and down the sieve like shattered glass? I'm a broken woman.”
Of course, out of context that could read as a little too close to a Brad Pitt commercial for Chanel or a Calvin Klein Obsession ad.
And, yes, with the fashion world front and center (where self-indulgence is a job qualification), there is a faint whiff of pretension in some meandering parts, including a second act with whole scenes seemingly included for their ability to support a punch line.
But that damn-the-torpedoes approach is part of the play’s charm. And if it allows you to eke out a few more moments watching Schmidt, then take it.
“Blow Me” is running through Sept. 1 at Miami Theater Center, 9816 NE Second Ave., in Miami Shores. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets cost $30 ($15 for students). Call 866-811-4111 or go to MadCatTheatre.org.