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New Zealander Deb Filler owns MetroStage, from the moment she strolls in strumming her guitar and inviting the audience to join her in a rousing chorus of “The Too Fat Polka” until she ends the show by tearing spongy, steaming chunks of the bread she’s baked onstage to feed the multitudes. A not unsubstantial physical presence, Filler struts it, shakes it, and then describes it for eight minutes in a soft Kiwi inflection that urges you to lean in to catch that next word that will snag her accent. The material of her one-woman show, Filler Up, is all over the map: weight issues, her relationship with her parents (among the few Jewish families in New Zealand, whom she dubs “Ki-brews”), her days as a (figuratively) starving acting student, her sexuality, and more, from a life that’s been spent all over the globe. The unifying theme is food. Filler’s father, Max, was a Holocaust survivor whose baked goods taught Deb early on to equate food with love. Her mother, Judith, passed on her propensity to put on weight and, in a well-intended ambush, once sent her daughter to “Camp Walkalot,” in America, to shed some pounds—only to be rescued by baritone Aunt Vippy from Long Island, whose solution to all of life’s difficulties was Chinese takeout. And so it goes. The set, of course, is a kitchen, dominated by a stainless-steel side-by-side refrigerator, a small oven, and the large steel work table where the performer kneads her dough and braids it into challah. Filler is an engaging storyteller whose shameless imitations of two dozen or so of her nearest and dearest often leavens trauma with unexpected humor. When Judith realizes, at first with horror, that her daughter may be a lesbian, she quickly recovers and realizes that the “signs” were there all along: “You do have a deep voice, and you’re a natural leader.” Later, Deb finds love for the first time with Cheri, a Lesbian Avenger who liberated her from Weight Watchers. For the first time, someone appreciated her body as it was. “Girl!” Cheri assured her, “I don’t want no skinny-ass Ashkenazi Jew!” Filler Up works because the raconteur is careful not to cross the fine line between self-deprecation and self-pity. And she has a deep vein of experience, both her own and her family’s, to mine. There’s this story her father told her about his desperate hunger after his liberation from Auschwitz: The Russian officer in charge told him that although they had staples, he couldn’t spare any men to bake bread. It is just as Filler relates how Max volunteered to train his Nazi captors in the bakery so that all could eat that the smell of baking challah reaches the audience.—Janet Hopf