Granted, that description is written from the male-chauvinist-piggie perspective (oink, snort), but LVH’s new The D* Word—A Musical (*Ditched, Dumped, Divorced and Dating), from the fem-centric folks who brought you Menopause The Musical, embraces it as a tuneful grouse about those of us with junk. Which isn’t to say it isn’t a cutesy, mildly amusing trifle, particularly if you’re a connoisseur of the Big Ears/Big Hands/Big Feet equals Big Junk school of snicker-snicker gender comedy.
Who isn’t, except half the population—the half for whom this show wasn’t written but will be dragged to by sig-others.
Inside the intimate Shimmer Cabaret, meet: Erica (Angie McKnight), a 14-years-and-counting celibate; Jen (Sarah Hester Ross), a sparkplug whose husband left her for a man; DeeDee (Maddie Castro), at loose ends after a 20-year marriage went splat; and Kate (Laura Wright), who’s eager to get preggers. (Also credited are Adam Ursell and Chauncey Alan as dialogue-free “bartender/hunks” who mostly shift props during scene changes.)
Getting acquainted at speed dating, they gather at Erica’s living room, bemoaning the 40s-and-single life. They diss ex-partners’ quirks (what is it with men and Applebee’s?), banter naughtily (DeeDee uses her new pals as a test group for selling sex toys), are cheerfully self-pitying (“I flunked the eHarmony personality test,” Jen says) and support each other, girl power-style.
Mostly they just yak —and sing, in the show’s best moments. Against recorded background tracks, the four, all strong singers and dancers, cut loose to nearly 20 pop standards, with obvious thematic inclusions: ”I Will Survive,” “Love Hurts,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “Just a Gigolo,” “Shop Around,” “Turn Me On,” etc. Particularly entertaining is Castro, vamping in a blond va-va-voom wig to Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff,” belting out Carrie Underwood’s revenge anthem, “Before He Cheats,” and pairing with Wright for a rousing rendition of Diana Ross’ “It’s My Turn.”
When The D* Word cranks up the jukebox, the kvetch-fest gets less kvetchy and more zesty. Yet it can’t carry it over a major obstacle—a genre identity crisis.
Schizophrenically, The D* Word aspires to musical-comedy status with specific characters (and even a dollop of a subplot about a man who comes between two of them), but comes off as a singers-and-zingers revue, the gulf between them throwing off the balance. Yet as a coffee klatch set to music starring engaging performers, it’s an innocuous, sometimes chuckle-worthy 90 minutes—unless, gentlemen, you’re among the hounds who callously ditched, dumped, divorced and dated your share of ladies and deserve this good-natured fang-baring. Relax—it doesn’t bite hard enough to draw blood.
Producers should consider an alternate title, though: Sex and the City Extra Lite: The Musical.
STRIP POSTSCRIPT: Come August 29, hubby/wifey erotic revue maestros Angela and Matt Stabile (X Burlesque, Raack N Roll), will unveil their new T&A epic, XRocks, at the Rio. Yet another topless strut-a-thon and enemy of the bra industry.
Never did I imagine uttering these words, but when you’ve seen two breasts, you’ve seen them all. … Did I just say that? Pulse check, please.
My oink-snort needs recharging.
Got an entertainment tip? Email Steve.Bornfeld@VegasSeven.com.