Pin It

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review: Big Bosom Buddies

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Ricky Graham and Varla Jean Merman star in Big Bosom Buddies
  • Ricky Graham and Varla Jean Merman star in Big Bosom Buddies

Big Bosom Buddies, written and performed by Varla Jean Merman and Ricky Graham, would have been a hit in the deliciously decadent Weimar Republic. Unfortunately, things would have gotten grim for the drag queens when the Nazis took over.

Fortunately, the gender-bending cabaret comedy found a home at the Mid-City Theatre (through Jan. 7), and packed houses have enjoyed the duo’s racy monologues and songs.

Merman (Jeffrey Roberson) and Graham have again teamed up to great effect. They have a way of pushing the limits of decency so far you can’t quite remember what the concept means.

The show begins with an empty stage; Jefferson Turner, who wrote many of the tunes, is seated at a baby grand piano at the side of the stage. Merman and Graham enter in what might be called glitter-chic get-ups (by Cecile Casey Covert) and sing a duet about the joys and trials of being bosom buddies. There were many songs, including revamped tunes and originals with witty lyrics by Merman and Graham.

Monologues, skits and outrageous gags are interspersed throughout. For instance, a cellphone rings and Merman pulls hers from her cleavage. She can’t operate the buttons with her gloves on, however, so instead she uses a frankfurter, which then provides a little snack. “Wink, wink, nudge, nudge,” as the Monty Python troupe said when they made sexual innuendoes.

In the first act, stage manager Brian Johnston was pressed into service as a chicken for a number that satirized The Magic Flute, but that was easy compared with his second-act cameo in a song about foreskins.

The potpourri of swirling nonsense featured Graham as a country and Western queen, and at another point, he was a diabolical nurse. As nuns, Graham and Merman reflected that “priests do more things than lay people.”

Finally, we got a spoof of the silver screen. The 1962 film What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? was mauled with caricature versions of stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford locked in mortal combat.

The show was full of inventive good fun. The singing was spirited, and Merman, despite her clowning, clearly has some admirable pipes. Here’s hoping Graham and Merman bring back this show or team up for a new one soon.

Big Bosom Buddies
8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Jan. 5-7

Tags: , ,

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Submit an event Jump to date

Latest in The Latest

More by Dalt Wonk

© 2018 Gambit
Powered by Foundation