Actress Lauren Weedman runs down via a phone interview the distinctions between Philly and L.A., as she sees it shes only been here once before, and has spent a week in town to prepare for her one-woman improv show, Well I Think Youre Beautiful Philadelphia.
Men here are more manly than they are in L.A., she says. She went on dates, set up via Tinder with what she said were two really interesting, hardcore Philly guys.
Its great material, she says she told the dudes up front that she was in town for only a week, working on gathering material for her show.
One of them was like, Perfect, wheres your hotel? she says. I was like ehh, no
Creeps aside, Weedman, who lives in L.A. but is originally from Indiana, said her stay has been great.
Well I Think is produced by a class at Drexels Entertainment & Arts Management program. Some of the students in the class, Weedman says, gave her perhaps an unkind (but not completely untrue) portrayal of the city.
People at Drexel were saying Call it Killadephia, or The Ugliest City in America or City of 1,000 Smells, she says. I thought it sounded like Im going to Trenton, N.J. Its been nothing like that.
During the show, which was originally conceived under a different name in Portland only a year ago, Weedman will get on stage only with some index cards full of notes about her time here. Shell run down the characters and moments shes experienced, plus decide if its the kind of place she could actually live in (unlikely, given the success of Looking right now, a show she says is so important because there are so few true portrayals of gay life on TV).
Weedman got her start in TV (with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) after doing theater, and solo theater, as well as writing plays. Shes been in a few other high-profile projects: HBOs Hung, and movies like Imagine That, The Five Year Engagement and Date Night, as well as shows like Reno 911, Curb Your Enthusiasm and True Blood.
The Well I Think show, which she calls pretty loose, also weaves in whats going on her own life. Right now, its heavy on the being single at 45 with a kid elements, hence all the goofing off on Tinder.
Shes put on the show in Boise and Albuquerque too, always with elements of her life sneaking in. But Philly seems to have been most lucrative.
Ive never had so much material, she said of her Philly moments. I wake up and I immediately go out, Ive been going to sleep at 3 in the morning.
Shes hit up a Phillies game, the requisite tourist spots, some jazz clubs, an after-hours place she cant remember the name of (or much else, she says cheekily), and shes been taking ballroom dance classes. Her teacher there a guy she says look like Stallone, a horror movie aficionado with a necklace bearing a Jason Vorhees charm told her that shes got rhythm, and can follow her instructors lead at first, but then tries to take over the dance.
Weedman said she thought, Oh my god, thats like every relationship of mine.
Shes also wandered around with a weed dealer smoking on the streets late at night, visited the Rocky steps at 2 a.m., and had her first cheesesteak (she witnessed two fights).
As for the Philly accent? Shes going to try to work it into her stories and character descriptions, but shes not confident.
The accent is so hard. I know Im going to fuck it up, so I might as well try.
$15-$25, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, the PlayGround at The Adrienne Theater, 2030 Sansom St., brownpapertickets.com/event/693055.