Review: HOUSE OF HEARTS at The Can Can

Love, laughs, and naked people … what more do you want?

By: Jan. 19, 2024
Review: HOUSE OF HEARTS at The Can Can
Review: HOUSE OF HEARTS at The Can Can
The company of House of Hearts
at The Can Can.
Photo credit: Nate Watters

Come with me, Dear Readers, for a little trip down the rabbit hole to “House of Hearts”, the latest offering at The Can Can.  If you’ve read my previous reviews of The Can Can shows, you know of my love for these folks.  And if you’ve seen any of their shows, you know they consistently put on the good stuff.  But if you haven’t partaken in the hilarious debauchery of The Can Can, what are you waiting for?!

Our story this time is loosely reminiscent of “Alice in Wonderland”, sans Alice.  We’re in the Land of Broken Hearts where Queen Astral (Jasmine Jean Sim) rules with an iron hand.  Love is outlawed and anyone showing even the slightest bit of love or romance is thrown into the Pit of Death (dun dun dun).  But her sister, Princess Aurora (Shadou Mintrone) has fallen in love with the Jester Puck (Jonathan Betchtel) due to their common affinity for mime.  And they might be able to hide their relationship were it not for the scheming and sexy pussycat Persia (Rey Rodriguez) whose “meows” can only be translated by Astral’s other sister, the somewhat ditzy Princess Luna (Tori Gresham).  And let the chaos commence.

As usual, the story is there as a delicious backdrop for the musical and dance numbers, so it’s not too complicated.  But who cares when you are faced with these scantily clad super talents?  Jonathan takes on the emcee duties, of course, and he’s as hilarious as ever.  With that smile and his charisma (not to mention his other attributes) the audience are easily his willing playthings.  And he does like to play with them to hilarious result.  I especially loved, on the night I went, when he brought up someone’s 69-year-old mother, Jackie, for some fun.  We loved it almost as much as Jackie did. 

Review: HOUSE OF HEARTS at The Can Can
Shadou Mintrone and Jonathan Betchtel in
House of Hearts at The Can Can.
Photo credit: Nate Watters

Even with messing around with the audience, Jonathan still has time for his storyline duties and, of course, his sultry dance numbers with Shadou.  The two of them have such insane chemistry together, with their numbers that are a hair’s breadth from getting someone in the room pregnant, especially when they mount up on those amazing iron contraptions they have.  Just stunning.  But Shadou is also stunning on her own or with others in the crew, don’t get me wrong, but it’s those duets that always thrill.

Rey, struts about the stage as the feline companion to the Queen with a sensual grace.  I know that cats typically don’t wear clothes and Rey certainly, and thankfully, is aiming towards that goal.  He dances and cavorts about the stage with that sinewy body with seeming ease, even as he’s mounting the guard rails of the catwalk or hanging from the rafters.  And his malevolent kitty may not have said much but was delightful, nonetheless.  I’ve only seen him in a few shows now, but he is a welcome addition.

Which leads me to Jasmine and Tori, our chanteuses.  The two of them typically take on the lion’s share of the singing, and this time was no different.  Jasmine leading their renditions of “Don’t Tell Mama” as well as “Poison” blew the roof off the place.  It must be expensive to keep putting that roof back on, because she blows it back off on the regular.  And Tori’s ode to the “Pussycat” was super fun.  And both seem to be relishing their characters this time around.  Jasmine owns the stage as the Queen who must be obeyed (and we want to obey).  And Tori was achingly funny as the awkward sister who just wants to play with the squirrels.  I love it when Tori goes for the comedy roles because she certainly has the comedic chops for them.  But the house truly came down when the two of them teamed up for a duet of “Imagine”.  An absolutely divine moment.

Normally when discussing performers, Dear Readers, you may notice that I refer to them by their last names, but here I went with first names.  That’s because by the end of any performance at the Can Can, you feel like these folks are friends.  At least I do.  And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give The Can Can’s “House of Hearts” an “absolutely delighted that I finally got to see this one” YAY+.  For those that love the Can Can, you know you want to go.  For those that have never been, you are missing out and YOU WANT TO GO!

“House of Hearts” performs at The Can Can through March 3rd.  For tickets or information visit them online at www.thecancan.com.




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