Above all things, it seems, Carrie Fisher knows where to find the funny.
Early on in her autobiographical one-woman show, “Wishful Drinking,” she remarks that if all the things that happened in her life weren’t so funny, they’d just be true. Fisher peppers little bon mots like this throughout her tragi-comic narratives of pill popping, mental hospitals, gay husbands, Paul Simon and a certain gold bikini.
Fisher is uproariously frank about her life and family, starting with her years logged as a show business baby (“celebrity is just obscurity biding its time”). Her father, singer Eddie Fisher, notoriously stepped out on her mother, movie star Debbie Reynolds, with Elizabeth Taylor; one of the night’s funniest bits is Fisher’s crash course in Hollywood Inbreeding 101, complete with chalkboard and pointer. “Days of Our Lives” has nothing on this real-life, sudsy drama.
Whether she’s curled up on a comfy set-piece sofa telling bawdy sex stories or chatting with people in the audience, Fisher lets us into her life like she’s our most outrageous girlfriend. From tales of addiction to failed relationships, from what it’s like to be a Pez dispenser to what it’s like to literally lose your mind, nothing is off the table. But through it all Fisher sees the humor and, when it’s called for, the poignancy. It’s a shot of wit with a chaser of heart.
“Wishful Drinking” runs through October 16 at the Bank of America Theatre (18 W. Monroe St.). The show is approximately two and a half hours with one intermission. For tickets, call 800-775-2000 or visit broadwayinchicago.com.