Witches in Bikinis: Spring Break in Transylvania
I saw witches in bikinis
Flying through the air,
Drinking black martinis
And throwing back their hair
I saw witches in bikinis
Wearing velvet capes,
Roasting human weenies
And serving them in crepes.
No, the above verses were not cut from an early draft of the Scottish play. They're from the theme song (Remember when pop groups had theme songs?) of the adorably silly coven of campy cacklers, Witches in Bikinis.
Combining three beloved staples of 1960's pop culture the girl group, the beach party movie and the low-budget horror flick Witches in Bikinis perform catchy and funny original songs by Bill Rozar, singing to his recorded music with arrangements heavy on the goofy rock/gothic sound.
They sing love songs ("Hold me, my little ghostie / We got some vampire kissing to do"), party songs ("They came to Earth / To ride the big waves / Pretty alien surfer babes) and songs about dealing with horny ectoplasm ("Spooks on the loose / Tried to goose / My caboose"). A clever number reminiscent of "Leader of the Pack" has a tearful witch asking Dr. Frankenstein to sew up her boyfriend who died in a drag racing accident. Also very funny is "Horror Flick Chick", a tribute to the dumb moves made by brainless cinema babes who meet gruesome ends.
And yes, they do wear bikinis. Not all the time, but often enough to justify their name.
Handling lead vocals are the talented pair of Carolyn Demisch and Jules Hartley, both possessing an attractive pop voice and a keen skill for comic phrasing. Backing them up is a comic quintet of singers and dancers: Julie Betts, Christina Johnson, Emily Reiter, Carrie Thorson (who is darling in her one lead vocal) and Zoe Schieber. Director/choreographer Amir Levi creates cute and energetic routines (some choreography is by the dancers themselves) drawing on 60's dance moves, cheerleader drills and even a bit of The Rockettes. He also appears for a guest spot as glam, power-rocker Popeye Kahn.
Clocking in at nearly 90 minutes, their current show at Don't Tell Mama, the group's cabaret debut, can use either a good bit of trimming or a lot more variety; perhaps even a dramatic through-line. The material and performances are a lot of fun, but they need to be structured into something more than just one song following another. And with seven performers filling the tiny cabaret stage, the show often looks cramped, with much of the choreography blocked by the singers.
But as a whole, the concept works and the talent is there. With some experience and tinkering, Witches in Bikinis could be casting their spell on audiences for quite some time.
Witches in Bikinis appear at Don't Tell Mama, 11PM, March 31 and April 7. Visit www.witchesinbikinis.com for information.
Photos by Julie Rozar: Top: Zoe Schieber, Emily Reiter, Julie Betts, Carolyn Demisch, Christina Johnson and Jules Hartley
Bottom: Jules Hartley, Carolyn Demisch and Carrie Thorson