Written by J.S. Blair, I.M. Macintyre, J.A. Millan, S.A. Moran, C.J. Munch, A.M. Scheffler, I.P. Whalen
The perfect Girls Night Out for Chicagoland gal pals
|Mills Entertainment i/a/w Just For Laughs Group presents|
|SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody|
Review by Katy Walsh
Mills Entertainment, in conjunction with Just For Laughs Group, presents a three week limited engagement of SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody. E.L. James rocked the world with her erotic bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The novel is about a middle-age woman getting it on with a 25-year old, well-hung, wealthy, good looking philanthropist. This show imagines the writing process of the author. The buffoonery centers around E.B. Janet home alone with bottles of chardonnay. Her husband and her kids are gone for the weekend. E.B. Janet is determined to pen her own lusty, romantic fantasy to share with the world. SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody talks dirty with comical results.
Full disclosure: I didn’t read the book. The women in front of me probably did. They cackled and high-fived through the entire show. I don’t think reading the book is a prerequisite, but the (be)foreplay might stimulate more pleasure. Regardless, the writing is clever. The acting is stellar. The direction is well-paced. It’s very much a long version Second City/SNL sketch. The humor is one dimensional. It’s about sex acts that stray from the missionary position. It’s funny to me for the first few sexual zings but then the shock of fisting wears off. The repeat of dirty little fantasies is amusing but familiar. I will admit I was surrounded by drunken cougars who were in full hearted giggle-fest. The audience, primarily female, responded to every moment with rip roaring, snorting, chortles. For me, watching the audience loosen up in enjoyment (fyi: alcohol is available) was part of the entertainment.
The acting is excellent. Amanda Barker (E.B. Janet) has exceptional comedic timing and a deadpan delivery. Barker narrates the action with sex-kitten prowess and unapologetic horniness. Her cohorts act out her fantasies. The dashing Drew Moerlein (Hugh Hanson) plays the ideal dream date. Moerlin’s caricature is a hilarious Fabio lampoon. He’s over-the-top, super hot guy with lines from a Harlequin novel. Michelle Vezilj’s (Tasha) interactions with Barker, Moerlin and the audience have a girl-next-door sweetness. Vezilj’s demeanor continually sets up the bawdy to be even funnier. Head writer and director Jim Millan has crafted a polished, modern day burlesque.
For all the dirty details on SPANK! visit spankshow.com.
Spank! Fifty Shades of Parody continues through December 16th at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted (map), with performances Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 5pm and 8pm, Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $42-$52, and are available by phone (800-982-2787) or online through Ticketmaster.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at SpankShow.com. (Running time: Two hours and fifteen minutes includes an intermission)
Photos by Paul Schnaittacher
behind the scenes