Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cellulite-Thigh-Slappingly Funny

Mel: We got reviewed in Backstage!

I know. And it was GOOD!

Mel: It was so good, I'm gonna read it again...

Mel & El: This Show Rhymes
December 27, 2007
By David Finkle

Now that the big-screen Sex and the City shooting has wrapped, maybe well-known bosom buddies Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall are thinking the best way to remain in each other's company is to put an act together. If so, what they come up with could look a lot like what 30-something childhood friends Ellie Dvorkin (the Carrie Bradshaw type) and Melanie Adelman (the Samantha Jones type) are doing for laugh meters in their often hilarious Mel & El: This Show Rhymes, well directed by Kimberly Stern, now in the middle of a crowd-pleasing Duplex Cabaret Theatre gig run.

Certainly "Get Out" (Dvorkin-Evan Toth) — a ditty in which they declare their no-strings-attached attitude toward sex with as many Mr. Right Nows as they can seduce — reflects Samantha's philosophy to a T. Their frankness about contemporary boy-girl, girl-girl, and boy-boy relationships gallops through their songs and snappy patter. Although not every number (melodies by a cadre of composers) is a solid click, no one could take much objection to "I Don't Look Like This" (Dvorkin-Stern), in which frilly-dressed, "itty bitty titty committee" El confesses her appearance is a triumph of illusion. Also connecting is the propulsive "Fagnet" (Adelman-Dvorkin-Noah Diamond-Amanda Sisk), where the longtime pals reject the term "fag hag" for their sexy selves but explain the word they have coined for their gay-male appeal.

Ever since the feminist movement kicked in, a campaign among women to achieve not only salary parity but also sexual parity has been waged. Throughout their show — which also has plenty to say about female bonding — Mel and El let it be known they're as libidinous as the next guy. So occasionally they stake their equality with language once reserved for sailors on leave, and it's merely vulgarity for vulgarity's sake. But just as frequently, they're cellulite-thigh-slappingly funny.

Mel: He really wrote nice things. 
El: Do you think people will read the things and come to the show?

Mel: Yes. They will read the things and then click here to make a reservation for our show THIS SATURDAY NIGHT AT 9:30!

El: They will! And when they click here they will enter the code "EXTRA VULGARITY" into the phone number box for a buy one, get one free ticket deal!

Mel: Vulgarity sells, doesn't it?

El: Hells yeah - people go see "Spring Awakening" just for the boobies and tushies.

Mel: I heart David Finkle. 

El: And he hearts you.

Carrie and Samantha,
Mel & El