Even therapeutic. Although Fisher still contends with depression, she has never canceled a performance because of it.

"I grew up watching my mother do the show-must-go-on thing to a ridiculous extreme," Fisher said, "like singing 'Tammy' with her foot in a bucket of ice. I have gone onstage depressed and been healed by it. My hairdresser calls it 'Dr. Footlights.' If you act better than you feel, eventually it will catch up with you."

But not always. A few years ago, when depression tightened its grip with particular force, Fisher agreed to electroconvulsive therapy. "For me, it was as taboo as it is for everyone else," she said. But she found the treatment worthwhile.

Given all she has been through, Fisher regrets she did not get straight earlier.

"I wish that I had, for my daughter's sake," she said. "I am not proud of putting her through that, although by the time she came around, I had gone sober. I was sober for most of her childhood. But I did slip, as they say, after my friend died in my bed."

Fisher's voice brightens when she talks about 19-year-old Billie, who lives in New York, where she is studying business administration and music.

"She's a miracle," Fisher said. "She raised herself in a lot of ways. She is a straight-A student. And she's not a druggie at all — I made it look that bad. Our relationship is fantastic."

Fisher had issues with her father, who died in 2010, and some of those make it into "Wishful Drinking." That didn't keep him from attending a performance.

"My dad had to be a good sport about it," Fisher said "He'd done his share of unkind revelations in his book, which I didn't like — for my mother's sake. But he loved my show. He was in a wheelchair and came onstage. We sang together, and the audience gave us quite an ovation. He even stood up, as if he'd been healed."

Although Fisher hasn't always gotten along swimmingly with her mother, the two seem to have a firm bond. They live next door to each other, just as Reynolds once lived next door to her mother.

"We don't see each other all the time," Fisher said, "but my mother does call and gander up more frequently."

As for a romantic relationship, Fisher is on hiatus. She hasn't closed any doors, though.

"Maybe I'll meet someone when I'm in Baltimore," she said.

tim.smith@baltsun.com



If you go



"Wishful Drinking" opens Tuesday and runs through Feb. 12 at the Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St. Tickets are $49 to $69.50. Call 410-547-7328 or go to ticketmaster.com.

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