BWW Reviews: SPANK! THE FIFTY SHADES PARODY Pokes Fun at the Saucy Best-Selling Book
Whether you make it a date night or a girls night out, everyone is sure to get a kick out of "SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody" at Club Nokia in LA Live on Feb 15, 16 and 17, 2013. This hilarious unauthorized musical satire brings the naughty fun of the saucy best-selling book to life in a laugh-filled high-energy show that's part Chippendales, part Second City, presented in one deliciously sexy package. The show is definitely for mature audiences so leave the kids at home.
The names have been changed but the characters from the book are definitely poking fun at themselves. Patrick Whalen plays Hugh Hanson (aka ChristIan Grey), Alice Moran plays Tasha Woode (aka Anastasia Steele), with Anne Marie Scheffler playing the book's writer E.B. Janet (aka E. L. James).
The show starts with the writer getting away from her family for a weekend to write an erotic fantasy novel. As she writes chapter to chapter, the book's two characters react with her, often criticizing her writing style and plot development as making no sense. But that is part of the fun since of course their antics often make no sense or stretch credibility to the breaking point.
But you can't argue that playing "I Put a Spell on You" as Hugh Hanson (Whalen) strips down heats up the audience, getting everyone ready to follow his exploits as he tries to convince Tasha (Moran) to sign an NDA, agreeing to be his submissive. At one point Tasha off-handedly describes Hugh as being "like a proud baguette sticking out of a grocery bag!" With an ego that knows no bounds, Hugh describes himself as being "Perfect, going on Godlike" and those of us who have devoured the book surely agree with that assessment.
A highlight of the show was when Hugh attempts to convince Tasha to explore his red room of pain by singing "Room of Sexy Domination" to the tune of "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka. I will never be able to watch that movie again without thinking of this song and the images it inspires!
A few times during the show, audience members were spoken to as characters in the play and asked to participate with the actors to further the plot. A woman in the front row became "Dr. Uppity Sue" and Tasha proceeded to ask her serious questions about fisting. Kudos to both women for keeping in character and creating some of the shows best belly laughs. I am sure the cast has a great time pushing lucky audience members to their limits at each show.
I do think this type of show would really do much better in a smaller venue where all of the women in the audience could be close enough to the stage to hoop and holler at appropriate moments.
After the show, stay for a photo with the handsome devil himself and meet the cast.
"SPANK! The Fifty Shares Parody" at Club Nokia in the LA Live complex in downtown Los Angeles, February 15 - 17, 2013. Website: http://www.clubnokia.com/search.php?q=Spank&x=0&y=0