Thursday, August 29, 2013

FRINGE FEMME: Dishing with funny girl and Chicago Fringe Festival star, Jeanette Bonner

Cafeteria cuisine, fashion faux pas and dating dilemmas are just a few of the memorable themes of any high school experience. Mix in unrequited love, self-acceptance and a splash of life advice (pragmatically provided by a Magic 8 Ball) and you get Love. Guts. High School.

A one-woman play written by and starring Jeanette Bonner, Love. Guts. High School. follows the journey of a love-smitten young lady and her teenage obsession with the romantically unavailable boy of her dreams. A highlight of this year’s Chicago Fringe Festival, Bonner marvelously delivers a fresh perspective on what it’s really like to be young and looking for love, heartbreaks and all – proving her star is on the rise.

Luxe File Chicago caught up with the New York dramatist who weighs in on what she loves most about the Big Apple and the Windy City, from food crushes and celebrity spotting to what she looks for in Mr. Right. 

When in Chicago:

Favorite people-watching spot
Definitely the Weiner Circle after 1am.

Best boutique to snag a wardrobe must-have
There are so many things to do that I've actually never been shopping in Chicago! I’m open to suggestions.

Hottest beach to show off summer tan lines
My brother loves to take me to the North Avenue Beach. He calls it “Hollywood Beach” because of all the beautiful gay men who go there and it's just one big party.

Can't leave town without…
Catching a free concert in Millennium Park with a bottle of wine.

Chicago-style deep dish pizza or hot dog
As a New Yorker, I can't in good conscience pick deep dish pizza, so I'll go with the dog!

When in New York:

Forget the Empire State Building, most romantic spot to take a date (and hopefully get kissed)
In the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge as the sunsets over the Manhattan skyline.

Best restaurant for a magical culinary adventure
Café Mogador, a Moroccan restaurant in the East Village.

Best place to spot a celebrity
When you're not looking.

Favorite moment in your one-woman show, Love. Guts. High School.
The moment at the end, when I come to terms with the fact that having difficulty in love only makes you better understand what real love is.

What projects are you currently working on?
I just wrote and shot a web series called "Ghost Light," which is about the backstage world of community theater and the unique cast of characters who make a show run smoothly.  I'm also toying with the idea of writing another solo show down the line. 

Attribute you look for in Mr. Right?
Sense of humor.

Actor/actress you most identify with?
I'm often compared to Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Garner, and Hilary Swank but Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal. She began her career at the NYC Fringe Festival, and later went on to write and star in the NBC hit sitcoms, “The Office” and “The Mindy Project”. Kaling has made things happen for herself and she inspires the heck out of me. 

You have a creative resume: NYC tour aficionado, production company founder, playwright, actress. What's been your favorite full-time job?
I find sitting in front of a computer for nine hours to be excruciatingly boring. Aside from acting, my favorite job is being a Tour Guide. I'm in love with New York's crazy history, and enjoy meeting people from around the world, and showing them around the best city in the world. It doesn't get better than that. 

Love. Guts. High School. runs Thursday, September 5 at 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 7 at 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, September 8 at 5:30 p.m. The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Tickets cost $10 and may be purchased here.

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