Comedy and theoretical physics aren't two things you'd normally think would go well together, but for humorist/writer Emily Levine, it's like combining chocolate and peanut butter. After writing for such TV series as Designing Women and Dangerous Minds, Levine worked for two years at Disney.
That's where she first became interested in esoteric things like chaos theory and quantum mechanics, but according to her official bio, she "found no studio executives, let alone Mickey and Goofy, willing and/or able to discuss these issues."
No matter. Levine ended up combining her interests to produce two one-woman shows: "It's Not You, It's the Universe: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It Too and Lose Weight" and "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Market." Now she's done it again with "Emily at the Edge of Chaos," which debuts Thursday, November 19th at El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. She describes it as "a heady mixture of science, social satire, and the personal saga of Levine's experience with a freakish medical condition."
That condition was acromegaly, and the symptoms included fatigue, "brain fog", a sudden onset of osteo-arthritis, and swelling of the feet (Levine swears an old pair of her Jimmy Choos from this period are now being worn by Clydesdales). The cause? a benign tumor in the pituitary gland that causes an over-production of human growth hormone -- steroids. A couple of surgeries later and Levine was her old self, taking the raw material of her experience and weaving it into a compelling new show.
"Emily at the Edge of Chaos" will be taped for an eventual film. If anyone in the Los Angeles area is game, they can get tickets for the 7:30 performance by calling 1-866-811-4111 (Theatre Mania) or by calling the El Portal box office on the day of the event. For a taste of just how good Levine's shows are, check out this recent TED talk, "A Trickster's Theory of Everything":