‘Target lady’ coming to town

Published 10:19 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Staff Writer

The wide-eyed lady who sprinted through a Target store with a parachute on her back will perform at the Turnage Theater next weekend.
Comedienne Maria Bamford will bring her off-screen, offbeat act to the Turnage stage at 8 p.m. Feb. 11.
Tickets cost $30 each for downstairs seating and $20 apiece for balcony seating.
For more information, call the Turnage at 252-975-1711.
Bamford starred in a series of Target commercials featuring her as a frantic-yet-highly-organized holiday shopper.
The comic-turned-actress made about a dozen of these commercials, with around six making it to the TV screen, she said in a telephone interview Tuesday.
“I’ve always just been a comedian,” Bamford said.
Bamford also is known for doing her stand-up on Comedy Central, and for a Webcast series called “The Maria Bamford Show.”
“The acting experience I have is from that,” Bamford said of the series.
In the Web series, Bamford plays a mental-breakdown case reduced to living in her parents’ attic. Her “character” acts out a sitcom by herself.
Bamford, a resident of Los Angeles, said she takes her material from current events, friends and neighbors.
“I do characters, mostly different types,” she said. “I don’t really do any celebrity impersonations, but just different types of people. It’s a little dark in that I do talk about things — about mental illness, or have more of a darker sensibility, I think. From what I’ve heard. I don’t know.”
She said she does at least 50 to 60 shows a year.
“Sometimes it seems more than that, but I’m not on a tour bus,” Bamford added. “I have a family to support, and that family is overweight, and elderly, and they’re pugs, and they can’t be left too long to fend for themselves.”
A Minnesota native, Bamford is working on a TV pilot.
“I know sometimes people think what I do is odd,” she said, “so at the very least it will be inspiring to others to say, ‘If she’s doing that, why can’t I get out there with my wood sculptures or patchwork jackets or whatever else I want to create?’”
Bamford’s act is one of several comedic performances that have been booked into the Turnage since last year, said Scotty Henley, executive director of the Turnage Theaters Foundation.
“People just sometimes want to get out and laugh,” Henley said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Turnage box office had sold 150 tickets to Bamford’s show, but a great deal more seating was available.
Asked what she would say to people who might be on the fence about seeing her show, Bamford replied, “If you don’t feel you want to come, trust your instincts.”