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

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