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Motown sounds, menial jobs explored

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Nob Hill’s Aug Dog Theatre opens three weeks of solo performances with the musings of a jobless fat woman and the music of Motown on Friday.

This year’s celebration features two New Mexico premieres, an original work and a Broadway comedy.

The series launched four years ago thanks to the relationship between Aux Dog artistic director Victoria Liberatori and the Sol Acting Academy.

Sol “had a lot of solo performers who wanted to perform in an actual theater and stage,” she said. “I’m very committed to supporting solo performances of original works.”

J. J. Jones will open the showcase with “The Sounds of Sweet Soul” on Jan. 12, 13 and 14. Jones will bring the sounds of legendary singers Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Smokey Robinson and The Temptations to Q Solo. He started singing in church in Chicago at age 8. Winner of numerous vocal competitions and variety productions, he has appeared in more than 20 feature films and more than 10 TV productions.

Christine McHugh stars in “Parents Must Be Dead.”

Slated for Jan. 19, 20 and 21, “Parents Must Be Dead” is an original solo show by Christine McHugh developed with Tanya Taylor Rubinstein.

When her parents died within three years of each other, McHugh thought she had weathered this milestone life passage as an adult with some measure of ease and grace. Little did she know that the death of parents comes in many forms and with many reverberations – some of them seismic. McHugh explores this landscape that all of us will eventually navigate with raw humor and tender vulnerability.

Jessica Osbourne will star in “Blown Sideways Through Life,” a tour de resume by Claudia Shear, on Jan. 26, 27 and 28.

“Blown Sideways Through Life” is an account of the numerous “McJobs” we have all held while struggling for success.

Jessica Osbourne stars in “Blown Sideways Through Life.”

Overweight and depressed, Claudia Shear eats her way through 64 menial jobs in this true account of a woman’s life at the edges of society. Artist’s model, whorehouse receptionist, waitress, proofreader, Shear is the underling’s underling and gives us a droll, insightful and ultimately frightening look at the inner lives of those who serve us. Do you ever wonder what the person who asks you, “Would you like fries with that?” is thinking – about you and herself? Shear knows – and tells us with wit and compassion. A thought-provoking and funny glimpse of the nameless workers who make the world go round.

Osbourne trained at Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts, London, and is a member of British Actors Equity and Screen Actors Guild.