The Baggage Chronicles: Crazy Bag & Carry On
An Action “Packed” Theatrical Ride
In 2007, Murphy Funkhouser Capps packed a Subaru with 500 pounds of baggage and hit the road with her one-woman show, Crazy Bag, an auto-biographical prodigal-daughter play, which uses only baggage as a set, about her journey as a rebellious minister's daughter and single mother.
In its premiere at the Colorado Theatre Festival, Crazy Bag won Best Set, Best Director, and All State Actress and Denver Post Ovation nominee honors. Crazy Bag went on to play full houses in Breckenridge, Aspen, Denver, Albuquerque and Oklahoma City and was accepted into the 2008 San Francisco Fringe Festival.
Reviewed as both “heart-wrenching” and “hilarious”, Murphy’s shows have been well received by critics and audiences alike.
Murphy’s performances brought her back to Asheville where her journey began the day she went screeching out of the gates of "Bible College" two decades earlier.
In 2010, Murphy met her “matching luggage" and started a family in Black Mountain, NC. In her second year of marriage, she learned my husband had bone marrow cancer. It was then that she wrote a second play, Carry On, which provides insights into what to do when everything falls apart and you have to pick up the pieces…again. In 2017, Carry On premiered on the Asheville Community Theatre Mainstage.
A Well Traveled Life
Everyone has some kind of baggage-something they are carrying through life. Murphy’s show will touch everyone for different reasons. It is the universal tale of coming to terms with your choices and finding personal redemption. Once a rebellious minister’s daughter who dropped out of Bible College, Murphy lived in her car and called 6 cities home in 10 years. In her original one woman play, she wakes one morning to find the baggage of her life has spilled out. She must sort and unpack to determine how to help her daughter avoid making the same mistakes.
Funkhouser is now happy she can now laugh about her past and makes healthy use of humor while unloading her burdens. Her show is a fast-paced revelation of a remarkable, frequently outrageous journey from barroom to motherhood, rebellion to redemption.
“This is a funny show,” says Funkhouser. “But it also has the capacity to be life changing. The term ‘baggage’ is fraught with negative connotations. I want to reclaim the word. Baggage is our souvenirs. It is also our treasures.”
-from The Asheville Citizen Times
Crazy Bag Review by David Marlowe
"Ms. Funkhouser (Capps) is one of the brightest stars currently rising on the horizon. Go and see this superb talent."-David Marlowe, Out Front
Murphy Funkhouser and Christopher Willard prove to be an unbeatable combination in the creation of “Crazy Bag,”the one-woman-show over at Vintage Theatre that is written and performed by Ms. Funkhouser. Christopher Willard directs the piece with his usual professional panache. Willard is that theatre genius whose work Denver theatre goers get to see all too infrequently.
Recently he decided to direct this script penned by Murphy Funkhouser. Willard’s direction of “Crazy Bag,” allows the actor/playwright’s memories and issues to live with vibrant urgency. The play itself has a good deal of comic material at its beginning, and then takes on a more serious tone near the end.
The adorable Murphy Funkhouser is one of the most expressive and charismatic actors you will ever see. She has a smile that lights up the room! Her comic timing is superb. The playwright envisions herself as a woman with “baggage.” Emotional baggage! We have all got it! The way she deals with it is through humor … and a few tears. So Mr. Willard has assembled a wide array of suitcases, valises and well, crazy bags which surround the central character. Their contents point to issues and memories of the past. There are a couple of moments in the second half of the show which get a little heavy. You will see what I mean when you get there. One wishes for a bit more of the comic to lift the viewer after one feels the devastation of the issues lying hidden in the bigger trunks.
Ms. Funkhouser is one of the brightest stars currently rising on the horizon of Colorado regional theatre. Go and see this superb new talent. The show has already been extended once. Don’t miss it.
Crazy Bag was listed as one the Denver Post’s “10 Shows to See”. called both “Brilliant” by the Denver Out Front and “Buzz-worthy” by the Denver Post.
More Crazy Bag and Carry On Press: