On March 18th, Sydnee Washington performed her sold out, one-woman show titled Death of a Bottle Girl at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre. The intimate room was buzzing with Sydnee chatter before the show began and revealed itself to be a star-studded event, brimming with her close friends, well-known comedians, followers, fans, and people she’s worked and performed with over the years. It seemed as though only a few degrees separated everyone in the room as cheerful greetings and excited waves filled the space.
Washington took the stage with the persona of Eulah Jean (a characterization of “eulogy”) to say a few words about the old Bottle Girl version of Sydnee Washington. Dressed in conservative, grandmotherly garb complete with lace gloves, Eulah passionately spoke over lively church music about Washington’s former heathenish ways, including references to her large circle of bathroom attendant friends, her gifted consumption drugs and alcohol, and her upward mobility pussy. Eulah ushered in a formal goodbye to the woman formerly known as the M̶e̶r̶y̶l̶ ̶S̶t̶r̶e̶e̶p̶Viola Davis of alcoholism, alluded to the three part format of the show, and prepared the audience for “a bumpy ass messy ride.”
The soothing voice over of, comedian, Catherine Cohen introduced Washington under the format of a 20/20 interview. Showcasing her award for the most sales in 2009, Washington used a holier-than-thou persona to answer serious questions about her former career. She answered a broad spectrum of questions, from how it all started and her duties on the job, to her most expensive purchase. She also recapped stories from the past that included her encounters with celebrities, why she still holds a grudge against Jay-Z, and the games affluent Upper West Side Caucasians play in the penthouse suite. As a final message to her fans from her old self, Washington said: “save your money so you don’t end up like Wesley Snipes with busted cornrows in Thailand – and know your worth.”
Part three of the show included a live performance of her final night as a Bottle Girl. She entered the stage with a giant (empty) bottle of vodka, served a few front row guests drinks, and showed the audience how she slowly slipped into incoherence with fifteen shots of vodka after waiting for her late guests. Her soliloquy transformed into a story of how her night finished with the tragic destruction of a classy Men’s Warehouse suit, and the next-day phone call that ended her tenure as a Bottle Girl.
Throughout the show, Washington created a perfect blend of acting, story telling, and comedy, as she poked fun at the highs and lows of her former career. Although she showcased a few personas during the show, her true personality shined through. Washington hopes to continue to fine-tune and perfect the show in future performances and deliver messages she holds dear to her heart: Bottle Girls are more than just waitresses, save money and prepare for the future, know your value, and that she was, and is still, a bad-ass woman. Stay tuned for future showings of Death of a Bottle Girl.