Eve Ellenbogen lost her mother when she was still a small child. For her, this meant she really 'got' the Disney princesses – who tend to be motherless – more than most kids did. But what does it mean to internalise the messaging of the Disney Golden Age and Disney Renaissance?
Ellenbogen's set is fairly loose and unstructured. She frequently refers to her notes, occasionally loses her train of thought, and the narrative thread which holds the show together is somewhat thin. But she brings an enviable stage presence, an infectious sense of humour, and a dark sensibility to Too Much which elevated the show for me beyond that of a regular hour of stand-up.
There have been plenty of cultural criticisms of the Disney movies, but Ellenbogen offers plenty of original takes and cleverly weaves in her unique personal experiences into the show. Some of those experiences are upsetting. Ellenbogen reveals that she is regularly told she is 'too much'. Considering her propensity for over-sharing, and her loud personality, this does not come as much of a revelation to the audience. But what she also reveals is that she has been subject to multiple incidents of sexual assault, and that she leans into these aspects of her personality as a form of personal defence.
I welcome the message that girls should be allowable to be more assertive, that princess-adjacent narratives need to be made available to them, and that we should revisit these classic texts as adults and try to unpack what exactly it is that they convey to children. Mostly, though, I recommend this show for its fearlessly blunt takes and clever gallows humour.