BWW Reviews: Hop on Board CHICO'S ANGELS 2 LOVE BOAT CHICAS for a Two-Hour Non-Stop Laugh Fest of '70s Nostalgia!
The best scripted comedy drag show in Los Angeles, Chico's Angels 2 Love Boat Chicas returns holding high court at the Cavern Club Celebrity Theater for Easter weekend. From the ingeniously witty minds of Oscar Quintero and Kurt Koehler, this episode of the hysterical Hispanic spoof of the 1970's hit TV show Charlie's Angels receives a hilarious mash-up with another '70s hit The Love Boat. Koehler expertly directs his uproarious cast in a neck-breaking, "I can't breathe between laughing" pace. Laughlines continuously flow out the entire cast making full use of the street-wise latino/latina backgrounds of the very brilliant trio of comic talents Quintero, Ray Garcia, and Danny Casillas as Chico's dissing, preening, dressed to the hilt (for all occasions), crime-solving females with the best of drag names - Kay Sedia (Quintero), Chita Parol (Garcia), and Frieda Laye (Casillas). These three have formed a very well-oiled unit playing off each others' reactions, comparable to the effortless expertise of Harvey Korman and Tim Conway's relationship on The Carol Burnett Show. The Angels' double takes, pregnant pauses and physical comedy - simply priceless, especially Garcia's frequent usages of her quivering eyebrow and her equally quivering lower lip.
The Angels receive able assist from Bossman, nicely essayed by Alejandro Patino who more than holds his own against the three flamboyant Angels, which IS quite an accomplishment.
Chico, the disembodied voice only heard over the telephone speaker gets his tone of authority from Mr. Dan (who doubles as the effective pre-show warm-up comedian).
In CA2LBC, someone has been trying to murder Charo while she's performing on the Love Boat. The Angels and Bossman go undercover to catch the murderer before Charo does get killed. Rounding out this fantastic ensemble in multiple roles: Natalie Lander as turn-on-a-dime schizophrenic Bambi, Charo's extremely ambitious understudy, and as the lonely, ineffective, still-in-her-shell cruise director Jill. Lander's uncharacteristically bold (for Jill) dance/performance art of "I Can't Live (If Living is Without You)" as her suicidal cry for help absolutely kills! Cher Ferreya's just simply wonderful in her contrasting roles of the mistress of coochi-coochi Charo herself; and then as Ruth, the lonely stage mom from Georgia willing to try some girl-on-girl action on this holiday. The very chiseled Duke Shoman really doesn't need to do more than stand on stage and flaunt his perfect pecs and eight-pack, but he does. All covered up, Shoman's the nerdy passenger Tourist 2 who doesn't know his left foot from his right. He's also the rich yuppie with the fortunate moniker of Huge, er, Hugh Johnson. But Shoman's main role of Dick, the stiff-moving chorus dancer has him seductively dancing with, but unsuccessfully bedding Charo.
Director/co-creator Koehler more than supports on stage as horny Captain Stubby, the randy chorus boy Harry, and the most un-look-alike twin of Bambi. OMG! This man is funny, funny, FUNNY!!!
A must-see for high-camp lovers, Charlie's Angels aficionados, and just about anyone who appreciates good, no, great theatre (with a heavy dose of double entendres on the side)! Lyrically re-imagined songs from this era include: "Don't Leave Me This Way," "I Will Survive," "Disco Lady,." and, of course, "The Love Boat Theme."
Kudos to Glen Alen's over-the-top wigs and to the cast for their contribution to their fabulous wardrobe, er, disguises, especially Kay Sedia's Charo's skin-tight jumpsuit with ruffles at her ankles which truly accentuates Kay Sedia's full-figure frame.
My only complaint would be not hearing lines of dialogue due to the loud, resounding laughter of the audience. But if the cast paused each time for the laughs to die down, the two-hour show would be twice as long.
Check their website for future dates of upcoming episodes.