By Kendra Jones

Confessions of a Showgirl is a quirky, honest, and modern memoiristic cabaret brought to stage at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. It was entertaining through all of Maren Wade’s comedic, dramatic, and even vulnerable moments—just as a showgirl should be. I appreciated her honesty; I could connect with this woman on stage—there was depth beyond those rhinestones, sequins, and feathers.

Starring Maren Wade from NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Confessions of a Showgirl is based on Wade’s column in Las Vegas Weekly–a magazine on which she was also once featured on the cover…for a Hallween-themed issue…dressed and made up for Dia de los Muertos, resulting in nobody recognizing her, but hey, at least she was still bedazzled and feathered.

Wade took the audience on the journey through her life on and off the stage. As an artist, it’s always reassuring when you hear about others struggling and still succeeding in the industry—whether they’re an actor, singer, dancer, writer. While everyone’s careers seemingly begin with failures and rejections, lessons learned, and more diappointments as years pass, we usually find ourselves out on the other side, having both found joy and triumph in both our careers and personal life.

From mastering the art of a quick change, to playing Anastasia in 50 Shades! The Musical Parody, and popping out of a birthday cake…at the wrong time…and then proceeding to be forgotten in said cake, Wade’s storytellining captured those disappointments, surprises, and achievements–several of them being unexpectedly rewarding.

As the audience laughed along with her career highs and lows, Wade sang through early and mid-2000 iconic songs and fast changed from pink feathered wings and headpiece to a gold sequined dress to a bedazzled wrap-awround skirt. Auditions, rejections, the continuous cycle of this process–Wade shows us the emotions and reactions when her best friend got a part in a show…and when this prompted some genuine acting… “I’m so happy for you…”

“That might have been my best performance yet.”

One surprise leaves Wade hopeful and curious; she was asked to be an MSNBC spcial guest speaker for a take on politics–before she was dropped because MSNBC decided to go with Wayne Newton–for who she later sang backup–yet another opportunity and rejection in showbiz coming full circle.

Before the sweet moment when her young son ran onto the stage and took a bow, Wade presented her journey of conceiving—a diffiuclt recollection that brought her tears and a silence through the room.

Wade finished with Katy Perry’s motivating song “Fireworks”–allowing us to find the hope in ourselves that Wade discovered on her amusing, refreshing, direct, and unabashed journey to leading that Vegas showgirl life.

“Do you know that there’s still a chance for you?‘Cause there’s a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the lightAnd let it shine”

Upcoming winter shows at the Laurie Beechman Theatre include Jacob Storms Tennessee Rising, on Fridays at 7PM, January 26, and February 2; Sophie Sucks Face, on Thursdays at 7PM, February 8 and 22; My Mooney Valentine, at 2PM, Sunday, February 11, featuring John Mooney’s return after a sold-out Christmas show; Jo Weldon’s What I Wore to Work at 7PM Friday, February 23; and Sorry-Grateful at 7PM Tuesday, February 13. For a complete list of upcoming shows, visit Laurie Beechman Theatre.