Friday, October 26, 2007


Dear Friends of Mel & El,
This is just about the best thing we've ever seen in print:

Mel & El at The Duplex

Written by Bisanne Masoud
Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Let me begin by saying that any show that rhymes "Barack Obama" with "stuffed toy llama" is a damn good show. Actually, my review could end right here. What else is in the show? Some other funny shit? Well, I don't care, because that's brilliant. And if you think that's amazing (and it is) then you'll love Mel & El: This Show Rhymes. And if you don't, then you can stop reading now, and go do something boring. Because this 75-minute show is as delicious as the cocktail that came with it. mel_and_el_postcard_for_web.jpg
Mel and El begins by explaining to the audience what the show is not. And although I'm sure there is no confusion, and nobody actually thought the show they were about to see would feature opera singers, or chefs, or mad scientists, the sentiment is clear: this show won't cure cancer, but one thing it does, and quite cleverly, is rhyme. And they're right. This show is clever. It also rhymes. And it's fantastic.
Melanie Adelman and Ellie Dvorkin were childhood friends, then grew apart, went to school, and eventually reconnected in New York City, both the product of extensive theatre educations. And then they created this show. A show about two best friends living in New York City is one thing, but one of the things that makes this show special is the welcome addition of anecdotes and reminiscences from Mel and El's childhood friendship. A couple of highlights include their propensity as kids for making commercials for fake feminine products, and the introduction of the "Jelf," a Jewish Christmas Elf. Other high points are the song Roommates, which caused my roommate and I to laugh so hard we cried (and we'd only had half a cocktail at that point, so that's not the reason) and Fagnet, which if you make the mistake of listening to on the show's MySpace page, you will be humming. All. Day. Long. As my friend Alexis would say (and she's a total Fagnet) "that's kind of amazing."
Besides being riotously funny, Mel & El is also genuinely touching. This show features two women who were best friends when they were twelve, and in spite of some years apart, are now best friends again at thirty. In the New York City I live in, this is a lovely, rare thing. So despite its bawdy humor, there is something innately innocent about Mel & El. These two appear to be having a really good time, and the fun is infectious. It's a happy show; you will leave feeling better than when you arrived. And I don't know anyone who couldn't do with a little cheering up these days.
Now, I have to say, as a former theatre student, twenty-something single woman with a roommate living in New York City who attracts gays, has worked lots of odd jobs, and also happened to make fake commercials with her girlfriends when she was a child, I may be a bit biased. Which is to say, this show has a wide appeal, but will be especially loved by twenty and thirty-something single women, their girlfriends, their gay friends, and anyone who went to theatre school. However, even if it only appealed to this crowd I would still say it has a wide appeal, because this is New York City.
I wouldn't bring your grandmother (well, maybe your grandmother, but I wouldn't bring mine) or your i-banker boyfriend. But I wouldn't bring him anywhere, actually, and if you had an i-banker boyfriend I might not bring you anywhere either, so you and he and your "Berries can all stay home and watch football.
As a side note, as I'm writing this, my computer is telling me that "fagnet" isn't a word. To which I say, I've seen the Oxford English Dictionary, I know it's got more than 300,000 entries, and as far as I'm concerned, it's missing one. I'm not sure how to make that happen, but believe me, I'm working on it. 

Is that nice, or what? We're still blushing.

If you've already come to see the show, it's time to send your friends. If you haven't seen it yet, come on out! To make a reservation for Wednesday, November 7th at 7PM, click here. If you'd like to come on Wednesday, November 28th at 9:30PM, click here

Critically Acclaimed,
Mel & El

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