How do you review a group that has already impressed you three times? Do you talk about what’s new and then link to your old reviews? Kinda lame, and not something deserving of a highly original troupe like Glam Gam Productions.
Got it! Bring someone along who’s never seen them before, let them be the judge of what you’ve experienced before and then report on the new stuff. So, for the Little Beau Peep Show, I drafted my brother Joe.
Let’s start with the new stuff. Troupe founder Michael J. McCarthy kept his clothes on for the entire show! That may or may not have had something to do with his mother coming into town from New Newfoundland for the first time to see him perform.
I’m not joking. In fact, he wore more clothes than everyone else combined. Dressed as the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, we didn’t even get a little leg or someone screaming “off with his clothes!”
That’s not the same with the rest of the cast…and what at cast it was. It seems like the Glamily grew over night. For what’s been said about inbreeding, maybe it’s not all that bad.
Seriously, though, it seems like the already ample Glam Gam cast from the last show is even bigger. Not only that, they’ve changed the dynamic, too.
This is a group known for a non-traditional, all shapes and sizes approach when it comes to what’s considered sexy for women. Now, it appears that they have extended that philosophy to men, too. Nice touch.
This cast spent their time on stage raunching up classic fairy tales, or moreover bringing those fairy tales back to their very sexualized and often quite violent roots. We get a male red riding hood and wolf tale, a carnivorous teddy bears’ picnic and the aforementioned and soon-to-be re-mentioned Alice among others.
What’s also new this time around is that instead of relying on just one emcee or pair of emcees as they have in the past, they rotated the characters doing the hosting duties throughout the show. And it made sense story-wise, too.
The first act was informally hosted by a brother and sister who can’t get to sleep after their babysitter Auntie Lipstick strips while singing, pretty much freaking them out.
Stripping while singing is an impressive feat on its own, it wasn’t the only live music in the show. There was an intimate choir, inspired by barbershop, comprised of Les Blow, Phoenix Wood, Rae Ocampo and Estelle de Pierre, that appeared throughout the show. Also, from my side-stage vantage point, I could see what looked like a small orchestra pit.
Anyways, when the brother gets taken away in the middle of the night, hosting duties switch to a witch played by Ellen Cherry Charles. She captures Eugene and, as she is preparing her brew, or rather preparing to add him to her brew, she starts telling stories.
These stories segway nicely into scenes like the comedy act of Blow’s Pinocchio (guess what grows when he lies) and McCarthy’s Gepetto (or GePedphile). We even get a puppet show. Yes, a puppet show telling the story of Rumplestiltskin performed by none other than Jizzika Unklein, Booze Crotch and Skyler Boushel. Nice touch.
The third act saw brother and sister reunited and then some…more on that later.
Now, for the elements I’ve seen before, I turn to Joe. To sum up his experience, he was impressed.
He was amazed at the whole scene. I heard “bravo” and “yes” many times throughout the show. He told me that he was mostly impressed with how the narrative elements combined with the nudity and the way the whole cast seemed to be really enjoying performing the show.
After seeing some of the violence, namely in the red riding hood bit and the teddy bear’s picnic, he commented “they’re not fucking around!”
Indeed they weren’t. Joe noticed what I noticed the first time I saw this troupe: their no holds barred approach to performance and their outright love of what they were doing. A combination that is both rare these days and a hallmark of a Glam Gam show.
Unfortunately Joe had to leave before the last act, and what an act it was. Almost all of the cast were now playing cards. Their costumes were great, actually all of the costumes and sets in this show were professional and fantastic, with a real attention paid to detail.
These cards had one parody-tastic mission: “We’re painting the pussy red!” Seems the Queen’s spouse, facial hair-clad drag king Paquet , isn’t a real ginger. While that may have eluded McCarthy’s real redhead-obsessed Red Queen on their drunken wedding night, the cards weren’t taking any chances.
“Who’s been painting the royal bush red? Off with their head!” I’ll leave it at that.
This was a great Glam Gam show, and an amazing first-time encounter with the Glamily as it was for Joe. To be completely honest, though, my fave by them to date is still If Looks Could Kill, They Will. Guess there’s just something about a burlesque murder mystery that hits me the right way.
Good news is if you missed this show the last time around, they’re playing a few more dates at the Fringe Fest. Details and a few video trailers are on the Glam Gam website.
* Photos by Iana Kazakova. See all the photos on our Facebook Page