"The love that dare not speak its name" croons at full blast with a complement of outrageous costumes, wiggles, wriggles and the occasional deadpan note in When Pigs Fly. The title of the gender-bending revue is a barnyard metaphor for hell freezing over, but you get the distinct impression actor Brian Peterson would have preferred horns and cloven hooves to the hog snout and wings he dons for the finale. Peterson is a delight — as usual — and he's surrounded by an enthusiastic, talented cast including William Bryant, Kyle Daigrepont, Jermaine Keelen and Patrick Mendelson. Together, they incarnate 25 characters while singing and dancing to piano accompaniment. Dick Gallagher wrote the music, while Mark Waldrop penned the sketches and lyrics for the show — conceived by Waldrop and Howard Crabtree — which opened off-Broadway in the 1990s.
The slim plot begins with a flashback to a high school vocational test. Rather than study watch repair, plumbing or chicken farming, high-schooler Howard (Peterson) decides to try show biz. He puts together a cabaret show, and costume designer Valerie Johnson created some beauties, including outfits for four queens dressed as a deck's worth of clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds.
Despite the assured performances director Gary Rucker elicits from the cast, I find the revue just a bit long — partly because of the narrow focus on the glories of a camp existence. You need to be an aficionado of show tunes and cross dressing to really relish this show. There are 16 upbeat musical numbers, choreographed by Karen Hebert and Kevin Champagne. James Kelley handled the musical direction. — Dalt Wonk
When Pigs Fly
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 6 p.m. Sun.
Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812; www.cabaretlechatnoir.com