As expected, this "girls night out" event does play on every stereotype of What Women Like, from the Kardashians and Fifty Shade of Grey (no, thank you) to shopping and jewelry (yes, please). Even the cast of characters assembled fit into stereotypes - the frazzled mom, the single girl, the gay best friend. The evening is set up as a party for Lisa, who is late in arriving to the party (allowing us party-goers time to visit the tiki bar and enjoy the free snacks). Lisa has invited her friends to celebrate, and the evening continues with a few skits and musical numbers interspersed with party games. I wish that the scripted play parts were more developed. They've assembled a fantastic cast of local actors whose talents I would like to see more of. What's there is good (written by James Detmar, who brilliantly played many roles in Spring Awakening last year), there's just not enough of it. The website says "After a bad breakup with Steve, a dead-end job and years spent not pursuing her dreams, Lisa is ready to celebrate new beginnings," but I didn't really get that from the show. I would prefer more scripted parts and less interactive games (diet bingo, walk like a Kardashian). But again, I'm a theater geek so maybe that's just me.
On the plus side is that fantastic cast of local actors I mentioned:
- Bonni Allen - I got a kick out of her presiding over the strange puppet show since she played Kate Monster in Avenue Q.
- Doug Anderson - he makes a smooth transition from playing the stereotypical Minnesota guy in A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol to the stereotypical gay best friend.
- Betti Battocletti - always musically comedic in such shows as 42nd Street and The Full Monty.
- Dawn Brodey - one of the standouts in last year's fantastic Fringe show Joe Dowling's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet...
- Janet Paone - I've never seen her before but she's very funny and bawdy in the show.
- Melanie Wehrmacher - the guest of honor Lisa, a totally different role from the last time I saw her in Diary of Anne Frank.
- Lisa Weiland - the frazzled mom, which I'm sure many women in the audience can relate to.
|the Lab Theater all decked out for a party|
The Ultimate Pajama Party is super cheesy, both literally (snacks!) and figuratively. They're definitely targeting a specific market and might become a huge success. Personally, I prefer more traditional theater (did I mention I'm a geek who would a million times rather go to the theater than a party?), but if you're looking for a fun and silly night out with your girlfriends, you might want to give this one a try. The party continues through February 10, and don't forget to wear you favorite pajamas! (Half price tickets available for select dates at Goldstar.com.)