BWW Review: DYKE THE HALLS: A DYKING OUT HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR at Joe's Pub
"Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Make the yuletide gay..."
Joe's Pub was filled with laughter and 'gaiety' (in both senses of the word) on Monday night at Dyke the Halls. Carolyn Bergier, host of the Dyking Out podcast, put together a truly diverse variety show line up, with performers from all types of backgrounds and performance styles. Standouts included Eman El-Husseini and Jess Salomon, a Jewish-Muslim married couple, stand up by Emma Willmann, and a downright strange but very funny burlesque number by Nyx Nocturne that played on "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" with a sexy, porn-esque dentist-themed dance.
Comedians Taylor Ortega and Nikki Palumbo kicked off the evening with a spirited and hilarious parody of "Baby It's Cold Outside." ("I wanna move in." "But baby, it's been two dates!") The acts were diverse in style, but Bergier's electric energy as host helped to sew the night together between each tonal change as the show moved from stand up comedy by El-Husseini and Salomon, to a sincerely sweet rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" sung beautifully by LaQuet Sharnell Pringle, back to stand up comedy by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Emma Willmann. It was great fun seeing all types of performers at the top of their respective games. I actually walked into the theater not realizing it was a comedy variety show (the description on the website was vague and I wasn't familiar with any of the names on the roster besides Emma Willmann, who I assumed would be singing) but I was pleasantly surprised.
There was one recurring bit I didn't quite get, with improv actress Kelley Quinn playing the daughter from the 2015 film Carol starring Cate Blanchett wandering around looking for her mother, who left her family to pursue a lesbian affair. Her ridiculous lost child act worked either way, but I imagine it was funnier if you got the reference. (Judging by the audience's laughter I was one of the only ones not in on the joke.)
The night closed out on a charming hip-hop remix of "All I Want For Christmas Is You", sung as a duet between Sir Babygirl and Nina Grollman. I'm surprised how much I loved it because I'm already at peak Mariah Carey, but their remix brought the song to a new energy, and they had a lot of fun with the choreography.
Joe's Pub provided a warm, intimate setting for the sold-out show. Laughs built easily, and there was plenty to laugh at. From start to finish, Dyke the Halls was a feel-good show, and Lord knows we all need plenty more of that, especially at this time of year.
If you missed Dyke the Halls, you can catch one of Carolyn Bergier's comedy shows on the last Monday of every month at the Stonewall Inn. Follow her @dykingout or at www.dykingout.com