Shirley Chickenpants, an all-female sketch-comedy group, is not for squeamish old ladies of either gender. Adventurous theatregoers with a taste for raunch will love it, however, and should make a reservation right now to catch the group's return to HERE in April.
In a dozen or so high-energy sketches, the group skewer everything from beauty pageants ("Miss Amish Teen USA") to cooking shows (like one for bulemics, with guests Callista Flockhart and Karen Carpenter).
"It's Not Just a Job" takes place at a morale-boosting staff meeting at a Hooters-like restaurant that specializes in young waitresses wearing revealing outfits that show off their young, plump butt cracks.
In "Oh, What a Glorious Day!" a morning show celebrates the glory, achievement, and great feeling of accomplishment of the morning doody. Guests include Cher, who is on the show to talk about a very spiritual high colonic she recently had ("That massive dump made me see God"). Commercial breaks are taken when the host has "a turtle poking its head."
In "It's a Cookbook," a spoof of B movies, four smart lesbians from outer space, all wearing divine mullets and togas, capture an earthling and alternate between threatening her and coming on to her. They have also dehydrated all of Earth's men, so they can be enjoyed as a "delicious, salty chew."
This sort of subject matter can get tired fast if not done with sharp timing. All the performers were crisp, focused, and on the money.
The costumes were creative and sometimes naughty; the lighting bright, colorful, and serviceable; and the music choices to the point, and loud but not intrusive.
It is a sign of our times Off-Off-Broadway that this talented troupe is still playing odd time slots. They are starting to develop a buzz, however, and the fringe press is beginning to pay attention. As they acquire fans (and sell more tickets), they will no doubt get better slots and prosper accordingly. It is to be hoped that they persevere until that happy day arrives.
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Copyright 2001 John Chatterton