Review: Classy Lady


Sandra Battaglini put the ‘ass’ in ‘class’ in her one woman show Classy Lady playing at Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre.

Simply put, Sandra Battaglini puts the ‘ass’ in ‘class’. In her one woman show Classy Lady, Ms. Battaglini curses like a sailor, lambastes political and religious conventions and even impersonates a Mongolian Horseman singing in Chinese; quite an impressive feat for an Italian-Canadian woman from Sudbury, Ontario, who does all that and more in frilly dresses and heels. But even with a title as nebulous as Classy Lady, Battaglini doesn’t mince words.Directed by long-time friend Phil Luzi, Battaglini bounces back and forth between musical, stand-up and scripted play, sewn together in four sections which find different ways to challenge the notion of “classy lady”. If for some reason you are averse to gratuitous use of the “c-word”, or are enamoured of Stephen Harper, you may find some of Battaglini’s humour offensive, but both my mother and I howled with laughter the entire time.

The best humour is based on hard-earned truths and honesty, and Battaglini showed this insight in spades. Her delivery was conversational, rather than donning a comedic mask or any semblance of false theatrical quality. Sandra’s own mother was present during Thursday night’s performance. The two bantered from stage to audience as Ms. Battaglini Senior challenged some of her daughter’s impressions and the fictionalized narrative of their immigrant family upbringing. By the end of the show, the whole audience was conversing with Battaglini, responding generously to her provocations and questions.

Even through some opening night technical difficulties, Battaglini soared onwards. She relaxed into her stories and further sold herself as the “classy lady” that she apprises. My mother felt that the one ten-minute intermission interrupted the energetic flow, but I definitely appreciated the short pee-break after all that laughing.


  • Classy Lady is playing at the Alumnae Theatre, (70 Berkeley Street) until June 24, 2012
  • Shows run Thursday to Sunday at 8pm
  • Tickets are $25 plus applicable taxes & services charges
  • Tickets are available by calling the Box Office: 416-591-1417 or online at