If you hang around Theater 80 on St. Marks after seeing Bayside! The Musical! (a parody of Saved by the Bell) then you can catch the scandalously funny late-night parody Showgirls! The Musical! April Kidwell spends the evening channeling Elizabeth Berkeley, transforming from Saved’s Jessie Spano into Showgirls!’s Nomi Malone. Showgirls! is one of the best worst films ever, and this East Village production fully embraces every aspect of the film that has made it so iconic.
Nomi (Kidwell) arrives in Las Vegas with a suitcase (which she loses in the first three minutes) and a dream (to be a dancer). She quickly befriends Molly the Seamstress (Marcus Desion) and falls in awe (and love) with famed stage performer Crystal (Rori Nogee). To achieve her dreams of dancing stardom, Nomi must seduce producer Kyle MacLachlan (John Duff) and push Crystal down the stairs.
This musical is hilariously irreverent. It mocks every aspect of Showgirls while also paying fitting tribute to it as well. Most of the cast pulls double, triple, or quadruple duty as multiple characters. Desion switches from Nomi’s girly best friend to Nomi’s dancer love interest James. Philip Mcleod plays Gay the choreographer while also switching into roles as background dancers and doctors. And Amanda Nicholas and Glen North even don various wigs as they pop into scenes.
The show, at times, does induce cringes when McLeod and North shriek their lines too loudly or Nicholas hams up a gag for too long. But Kidwell’s spot-on performance as Elizabeth Berkeley as Nomi Malone will distract you from the less-than-incredible moments. And the catchy songs will be stuck in your head for days to come (and are also available on iTunes).
I can think of no better way to spend a Friday or Saturday night than watching this talented cast of performers revel in the ludicrous comedy of Showgirls! The Musical! Just be warned that there are plenty of tits and ass that are not suitable for the faint of heart.
Showgirls! The Musical! plays through the month of December.