|There is a trend
in the mainstream media towards getting ratings and ticket sales by
"exposing" strip clubs and exotic dancers for the general
public. This trend did not stop with movies and TV shows. Now it's time
for live shows and stage plays to catch up with the rest. This section
will review some of the ones that caught my fancy.
All Men Are Dogs
|Cast from left to right: Randall Davis Reeman (Biggie, the husband), B. J. Sharp (Lusty, owner of club), Monique Parent (Gigoletta, the new girl), Baker Lee Fordson (Neon, the bouncer), Debra Lee Stone (Godiva, the experienced dancer), Tilly Lorence (Eve, college student), and (seated) Francesca Capasso (Donatella, the wife).|
Well, the musical takes place in a topless strip club, but yes, it's
still a musical. But I figured if it was good, it would be funny, and if
it was really bad, it would be funny too. So I figured I'd get a chuckle
out of it no matter what.
I got more than just a chuckle. I wasn't rolling on the floor, but there are no less than 20 or so songs and some of them did have me laughing-out-loud, not to mention numerous strip club jokes and dancer come-backs for every stupid thing a customer says in a club. I can't comment on the singing abilities of the cast because I don't know much about that, but Ms. Capasso, who plays the wife, sure has a booming voice that doesn't require a microphone.
My favorite song was The Power of the Bitch where Godiva, the experienced dancer, explains why being a bitch works in a strip club. She has another great number titled It Ain't Easy Bein' Bad. I'm sure some of the readers can relate to these songs. Other off-the-wall songs like I Loved That Beaver, I'm A Dirty Dancer, Kill The Lawyers and A Guy's Just Got To Get Laid let's you know the tongue is fully planted in the cheek with this play.
The story is about a bored, married, postal worker who goes to a topless strip club for some excitement and his wife confronts him at the club. I've actually witnessed such an event in real life where the wife started beating up the husband, so the plot is not too far fetched.
Of course, in the process of telling this story, we meet the required brand new dancer, who has to learn how to make money in a strip club, a bouncer that falls in love with one of the dancers (even though that's against club rules), the young college student slash dancer, the club owner, and a cut-throat dancer that will do anything and anybody to get what she wants. She was my favorite. Now add to that some topless dancing, pole work (yes, they have a pole on stage), a little lap dancing, and a lot of singing.
Speaking of the pole work, Ms. Parent, who plays the new girl, actually does some singing while doing some not-so-easy pole moves. I suspect that she must have gotten her pole work training as a real dancer somewhere. Or perhaps she's just a great actress. In any case, the pole work in itself was great, but I have never seen anybody do pole work while singing. A very interesting sight indeed. Perhaps this will turn into a new cool fad at a real strip club. Or not.
Apparently, Dailey Pike, the writer/director did his homework at some strip club. At the minimum, he had to have talked to a few dancers about the ins-and-outs of dancing. He says that the entire play is based on real events of a friend of his that went to Star Gardens. I hope he had the same ending as the play but I get the feeling he's probably divorced now. For sure, nobody broke into a song at the club. In any case, all this research must have been hard work, but somebody's gotta do it. I wonder if lap dances are tax deductible for him.
I know my readers expect more than a play review, so I can't end without adding that Ms. Stone (who goes topless at least twice) could easily be a real dancer (and perhaps she is), and her topless scenes are worth the wait. If I saw her dancing at a strip club, it would have been boring, but I actually found myself excited to see topless singing, which was another first for me.
All in all, I laughed and enjoyed the play. If a guy that hates musicals can sit through this musical comedy, anybody can. If you are reading this website, it's very likely that you will find a lot of amusing things in it. If nothing else, you'll know what not to say to a dancer.
You can see All Men Are Dogs at the Coronet Studio Theater, 366 N. La Cienega (right across the street from Star Strip), starting October 4 through October 26, on Fridays and Saturdays, 8pm. Admission is $20. The same as the cover and 2 drinks at most clubs. You can call the theater at (310) 657-7377 or purchase tickets on their website at mendogs.com.