The Girls Productions In Da House with Faking It by Miriam Peniche

By Raquel Sanchez

Guest Writer

pLAywriting in the city

Voluptuous…

Sexy…

Vulnerable…

Honest…

Heart wrenching…

Inspiring…

La puritita verdad!

Miriam Peniche’s solo performance of Faking It is an in-depth view of two and a half years of her life. Faking It is written and performed by Peniche and directed by Gabriela Lopez de Dennis. The show takes you on a voyage of change and transformation. You experience the caterpillar turning into a butterfly who achieves her freedom, but not without the scars of pain and loss.  And yet, we are still left with the gifts of hope and wisdom.

As a writer who is working on her own solo show, I was excited to experience Peniche’s performance. I had seen a workshop production of her show in 2010 and was captivated by the humanity and courage she brought on stage. This time around I was driving to Boyle Heights to see perform at CASA 0101’s new space, a 99-seat theater that has recently been renovated. The production ran from January 13th – 22, 2012 and I was getting to see the last show. I couldn’t keep the grin off my face. I was looking forward to what I knew would be a dynamic performance.

As I sat in the audience just before the show, I took note of everything on stage from the purple curtains to the couch that was on a platform upstage center. The stage was set up as a boudoir that promised you delights beyond your wildest expectations. It felt lush and naughty. I felt like eating a box of bom boms.

Faking It written and performed by Miriam Peniche and directed by Gabriela Lopez de Dennis

Peniche’s stage presence is unforgettable, confident and strong the minute she walks in the room. I am hooked the second I hear the beginning strains of Coleman and Fields ‘Big Spender’. How many young women didn’t dream of being Chita Rivera, singing this song on stage while dancing to Bob Fosse’s choreography? I know I did.  Miriam dances in with joy; there is nothing better for an audience member than recognizing that the performer loves what they are doing. Her moves are languid and infused with a saucy touch.

Audiences may be familiar with Miriam’s portrayal of the many funny characters she has embodied in the past, but Faking It brings forth a character of a woman who is eloquent, tender and funny. A feminist who simultaneously is not afraid to say she wants SEX and in the next shares with you her inner most insecurities and her battle with depression. Favorite scenes include the ones where Peniche shared with the audience how she covers her different insecurities with make-up, hairstyles and Spanx!

Peniche is to be commended for the vulnerability she exposed while telling us about the pain and disillusionment she suffered at the breakdown of her marriage as well as the self-sacrifice and love she has for her parents.  These are all universal themes. I could hear women in the audience grunt, “Hmmm…hmmm’s” and “Hell yeahs” under their breaths when she talked about her marriage, her job, her ‘booty call’ and many other connections they made with Peniche’s story telling.

A natural born storyteller, Peniche has the knack to ensnare you and keep you at her mercy for just over an hour and not a minute is in vain. Make sure you stay tuned for Miriam Peniche’s next performance. She is already considering taking Faking It on tour!

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