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Thursday, April 3, 2014

REVIEW: ‘50 Shades! The Musical’ As Raunchy As the Books And So Funny!

 
by A. Charlotte Rose


I had so much fun seeing ‘50 Shades! The Musical’ It is a genius send-up of the bestselling book by British author E.L. James, and her fans. It was so hilarious, and filled with super racy songs, that even people who never read the books were laughing their heads off at the raunchy, wild, and surprising theater experience at the intimate Elektra Theater at 300 West 43rd Street in Manhattan.

I think authors who have been following the Fifty Shades phenomenon will really enjoy seeing a book brought to life through parody.  When people take the time to mock, lampoon, or humorously imitate characters, you know a book has made a cultural impact. I happened to be sitting next to a couple visiting from Portland, Washington – where some of Fifty Shades takes place – and the guy asked me a gazillion questions because neither of them had read the books. “We knew it was a cultural phenomenon,” he said. “So we wanted to see it.” The laughed from beginning to end.

The musical centers around three women in a ho-hum private book club who decide to spice things up by reading the book everyone is talking about— Fifty Shades OF GREY. These ladies are having their own erotic awakening as they read about Anastasia Steele’s adventures with Christian Grey. And, as they later admit, their sex drives are heightening, they are masturbating like crazy, and their love lives are getting a boost—a phenomenon reported by many women who read the book, which has sold 100 million copies worldwide.

The underlying message is women should be sexually liberated and should enjoy sensual fun. Yay! That’s good for women and good for erotica romance authors!

It is difficult to discuss a theater experience like this without spoilers, especially since it is a very direct parody of the book. I will try not to reveal too much so you can have the same joy of hilarious discovery. But I will say this: You will be stunned when the actor portraying Mr. Grey when is revealed. And then, well, you may fall in love when you hear him sing, watch him dance, and hear him talk oh-so-dirty. Oh my.

Here are 11 hilarious and fun aspects of 50 Shades! The Musical.

 
1. The Book. It’s no secret that there have been detractors who think that Fifty Shades OF GREY may not be well written, but fans love the simplicity of the writing and adore the love story between Christian and Ana. My first favorite thing is the program, which boasts that the show is: “The Original Parody of the Greatest Novel Ever Written.” It’s just so funny when you see it on the program.

2. Anastasia Steele. She is an everywoman’s Ana– beautiful, normal-sized, dressed in cute clothes, and as adorable, funny, and sweet as the “real” Ana. This Ana has the most amazing singing voice and she played the innocent virgin well. Especially when she sang a song that exclaimed, ‘There’s a hole inside of me… I wish I had something to begin to fill this hole.” Because we all know that, in the book, she gets that and “more.”

3. Christian Grey. As hinted, he is a total surprise and he will totally get your attention. He is an amazing singer. And when he is on stage scantily clothed, sweaty, dancing, and singing, “I don’t make love… I f--k,” you will feel it, baby.

4. Taylor. He is half naked for the entire show… and that’s a good thing.

5. José. The actor who portrays him hams it up like a hyper-sexual Latin lover. Every move he makes is in a jump, leap, or a tango. As much as I do not like stereotypes, everyone gets lampooned in this production! The camera equipment he uses to keep snapping photos of Ana is hilarious. When they come to the famous club scene where Ana gets drunk and pushes him away, she of course yells “No… no… no way, José!

6. Kate Kavanagh. Ana’s BFF comes off like a slutty valley girl and we discover it was not a cold that sent Ana packing to her first fateful meeting with Mr. Grey. No, Kate was hung over. “I just need you to drive four hours out of the city to interview some weird, reclusive, cocky billionaire,” she says.

7. The Contract. The prop used as ‘The Contract” is hysterical and it set Ana off into contemplation, and song, about “his huge budging… contract. “

8. Charlie Tango. The stage became the sky for a tiny toy helicopter prop on a pole and string as Christian and Ana rolled in on a makeshift helicopter seats, arguing about the contract. To those who know and love Charlie Tango, it is quite fun.

9. The Red Room of Pain. There are hunky, bare-chested men, and one half-naked woman, to help reveal what is in Christian’s BDSM hideaway. And there is something new in there that belongs in the kitchen—an egg beater!

10. Spanking. They are kind of goofy but enough to keep you satisfied.

11. The songs and music. One of the biggest surprises is how great this production is. It is completely professional with top notch performances. The music is entertaining and hilarious. One of our favorites is Christian and Ana singing they are just like, “Any Other Couple.” Ha!

Overall, they lampooned the “Greatest Novel Ever Written” in the most loving and hilarious way, with blatant sexual humor and fun sex talk. For Fifty fans, they brought the story alive and gave us a fun night out as we wait for the Fifty Shades OF GREY movie.

50 Shades! The Musical is at the Elektra Theater at 300 West 43rd Street.  It’s written by: Al Samuels, Amanda Blake Davis, Emily Dorezas, Jody Shelton, Ashley Ward, and Dan Wessels, and music and lyrics by Amanda Blake Davis, Jody Shelton, Ashley Ward, Al Samuels and Dan Wessels. Set and Costume Design is by John Dunnett, Lighting Design is by Herrick Goldman, and Sound Design is by Matt Kraus. It is choreographed by Mindy Cooper and Joy Dewing is the (brilliant) casting director.

For more information on the show, visit www.50shadesthemusical.com.
For the YouTube trailer, click here.♥

 

A.Charlotte Rose is a journalist specializing in love, sex, and the new erotic romance revolution, and she is also an author in the erotic romance genre. She pens the “Hot Romance” Column for The Three Tomatoes. Visit her at https://www.ACharlotteRose.com.  Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteRoseBooks.  

   

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