Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Happy Mollydays" - A Gleeful Holiday Train Wreck

The Dish: Molly "Equality" Dykeman's second annual holiday show is a hot mess.  Thank goodness her creator, the amazingly versatile Andrea Alton, planned it that way.  Working through her Percocet-and-Cheetos-induced haze, Molly inadvertently presents a Christmas show that is a rollicking good time.  Whether you've been nice or naughty, "Happy Mollydays" should be on your Christmas list.

Synopsis:  Poet/security guard/ladies' lady Molly "Equality" Dykeman's holiday variety show features her holiday ramblings, poetry, song and dance, and the amazing Mollettes.  Molly's guests for the two performances include Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, burlesque stars Bambi Galore and Jubilee Diamond, porn star Will Clark, comedians Rick Younger and Adam Sank, singer Sabrina Chap and drag starlet Dallas DuBois.

In Depth:  I had a great time at Molly's last holiday show, "A Molly, Jolly Christmas," so I expected good things from this year's extravaganza.  I was not at all disappointed.  In fact, Molly was in rare form, no doubt because Andrea Alton, the actress behind Molly, has had numerous opportunities to hone Molly over the past year.  As Alton continues letting Molly's hair down (well, her mullet) at various events here and abroad, her performances get tighter and funnier.  This was one of her best.

There are a lot of strong points about this year's show.  The guest stars are amazing.  The Mollettes are lovely.  The choreography is terrific (and I give extra props to choreographer John Paolillo who has to create dance moves for a character who is supposed to be really high and not able to dance particularly well).  And the jokes come fast and furious.

But Alton's true strength is her improvisational skills.  Molly is a shameless flirt, and anyone near the stage becomes part of the act.  Alton incorporates technical gaffes that might fluster a lesser performer, and make them seem like they were scripted.  Molly is Molly from start to finish, with no breaks in character.  It's that commitment to the character, along with her wonderful comic timing, that makes her shows a pleasure to watch.

The variety acts in the first night of the two-night run offered a range of entertainment.  Bambi Galore performed a burlesque homage to "A Christmas Story."  Ever wonder what Ralphie had on under that pink bunny costume?  Bambi was more than happy to show you.  Rick Younger brought the house down with his standup and singing.  Molly interviewed porn star/activist/entrepreneur Will Clark, in a whacked-out style that only Molly can do.  Village Voice columnist Michael Musto played a cheeky riff on Molly's poetry by reading poetry by Hollywood celebrities.  The poetry was pretty much as bad as you'd expect.

Speaking of poetry, in a gracious bow to her gay male fans, Molly incorporated an explicit poem about hot, holiday, man-on-man lovin'.  Watching her gag her way through it was hilarious.

The next performance of "Happy Mollydays" will feature comic Adam Sank, burlesque star Jubilee Diamond, singer Sabrina Chap and drag starlet Dallas DuBois.

Director Derek Jamison did an outstanding job creating a tight, fast-paced show, and I'd be remiss in not mentioning the excellent costumes created by Anthony Catanzaro.

"Happy Mollydays" may be more warped than most of the holiday fare you'll see around town, but if you like your comedy a little queer (in all the best ways), this is the Christmas show for you.

"Happy Mollydays"
Featuring Andrea Alton (Molly "Equality" Dykeman), Lindsay Bracco (Mollette), Victoria Smalc (Mollette), Michael Musto, Bambi Galore, Rick Younger, Will Clark, Adam Sank, Jubilee Diamond, Sabrina Chap and Dallas DuBois

Director: Derek Jamison
Choreographer: John Paolillo
Costume Designer: Anthony Catanzaro
Producer: Irwin Kroot

December 8 at 7 PM
December 21 at 9:30 PM

The Laurie Beechman Theatre (at the West Bank Cafe)
407 W. 42nd Street

Molly and the Mollettes
Photo by Laura Turley

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Homo Erectus" - Fun, sexy burlesque

The Dish:  If you're expecting "Magic Mike," this might not be the show for you, but if you like your burlesque to be a queer mix of sex, humor, gross out, costumes, silliness and fun, you won't go wrong at "Homo Erectus."  This monthly burlesque show at the Stonewall Inn is a fun, wild time. 

Synopsis:  Monthly, mostly male (there is always on female performer for variety) burlesque show featuring some of the best boylesque performers in New York at the home of the gay rights movement, the Stonewall Inn.  Some acts are sexy, some are funny, some are gross, some are acrobatic -- you just never know what you're going to get.  Each show has a theme (October - Boolesque, November - The Bizarre, December - Geeks Out), that loosely ties the show together.

In Depth:  I've seen two "Homo Erectus" shows so far, "Boolesque" and "The Bizarre," and I'm hooked.  It's not just that some of the performers are easy on the eyes (I mean, you can get that from the go-go dancers at any number of bars in town).  It's that they're so damned talented and inventive.

The November show, "Homo Erectus - The Bizarre," featured boylesque legend Tigger! as the host and Lucky Charming as the go-go boy of the night.  Tigger! kicked things off with a funny/creepy bondage number with the aptly named Mr. Gorgeous.  Contortionist Topher Bousquet followed with a number that showed off his flexibility and hula hoop skills.  Matt Knife (creator of "Homo Erectus") then performed a striptease that involved him slowly cutting away parts of his costume to the accompaniment of musicians Fein and Dandee (amazing performers).  Mr. Gorgeous returned, in crab costume, to perform a striptease that ended up with him slathering on suntan lotion.  Bambi Galore, this month's lone female performer, created a truly amazing and horrifying tribute to the late, great Divine.  It could have been a lost scene from "Pink Flamingos," and is probably something I will carry with me to the grave.  Alfie Bunz performed a hilarious mambo-inspired strip tease.  The final act of the evening, Brewster, featured a fascinating and sexy transformation from animal to man.

While Lucky Charming was the go-go dancer for this show (each show featured a go-go boy who starts the show and assists with scene changes, etc.), I would be remiss if I didn't mention that he was a performer in my favorite scene from the October Boolesque show.  He and performer Rique Shaw did a spoof of the "Twilight" films, imaging what might happen when Edward (Charming) and Jacob (Shaw) finally acted on the homoerotic tension between them.  The performance featured the unveiling of a sparkling Edward and an inconvenient transformation of Jacob into wolf form.  Very, very funny.

Another performance that I have to mention from the October show was Foxy Vermouth's strip tease.  Since this was a Halloween show, she wasn't content with just removing her sexy costume during her strip -- she slowly and sexily peeled off her skin as well.  It was a great makeup trick, and perfect for the show.

While reading about burlesque performers isn't quite the same as seeing them live, I hope you've gotten a sense of what to expect from "Homo Erectus" and will stop by for a show.  Their next performance is Thursday, December 13th.  The show, "Homo Erectus - Geeks Out," will be their homage to all things geek and all things Christmas.  I'm excited to see what they come up with.