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Showtime For Stripper

UCB performers take well-aimed swipes at cult classic of crudeness

The idea of a sketch show called “Showgirls: The Best Movie Ever Made! Ever!” might be assumed to be simply some sort of acting out of scenes from the movie for camp or kitsch value, but in the hands of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, it’s much more.

Credit goes to Jackie Clarke and John Flynn, who wrote this show with multiple layers -- the acting out of scenes from the movie, yes, but also an Inside The Actors Studio/James Lipton-like interview with Joe Eszterhas, the screenwriter of the movie, as played by John Reynolds, shirtless and beer-swilling, as well as altered video clips from the movie and deadpan recital (by Flynn) of the more outlandish stage directions from the movie’s screenplay.

Clarke and Flynn’s spoof of the movie has some brains behind all its crudeness -- this show manages to be way cruder than the movie itself. Some of that however, is in Clarke’s addled interviewer character who tries to attribute all kinds of supposedly feminist points to Eszterhas and his script. So it’s just as much a slam of James Lipton as it is of the movie.

Reynolds as Eszterhas has a blast with some of the best lines in the show, like his response in the interview about one feminist point, saying, “When I write for broads…” and in another answer about black sidekicks in the movie, “I felt free to confront racism by resurrecting stereotypes we’d forgotten existed.”

Of those acting out the roles from the movie, Lennon Parham as Nomi Malone (the leading blonde woman in the movie) finds great bits of physical comedy acting out Nomi’s fits of rage and pique from the movie. Also, Bobby Moynihan pulls off the feat of playing Nomi’s African-American female sidekick just by changing his voice and expressions for effect -- he doesn’t need to dress in drag to make this show funny.

“Showgirls: The Best Movie Ever Made! Ever!” runs 9:30 p.m. Thursdays in March at the UCB Theatre.



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