Monday, April 02, 2012

Hot Greeks, Uncut and Bigger

The Thrillpeddlers have just opened their final, engorged version of Hot Greeks, a Cockettes musical from 1972.

Two years ago, the same troupe performed an hour-long sketch version of Hot Greeks that ran for a month or so between the long-running Pearls Over Shanghai and Vice Palace.

The genderfucking cast, with women playing men and women, along with men playing women and men, was delightful on opening night, though there were obvious opening nerves and people were trying a little too hard. It should relax into another wildly successful show in a few weekends.

Thrillpeddlers director/producer Russell Blackwood (above center, between the butts) played a miraculously dancing FDR in the first act and the oracle Mata Dildoes in the second, reprising his/her showstopping role in the earlier production.

Rik Lopes as Lysistrata (above center, with Noah Haydon as Pandora on the left) was very light on his feet as a dancer, and though her part makes no linear narrative sense, she seemed committed at every turn. I did miss the absurd, deadpan innocence of Thrillpeddlers stalwart Eric Tyson Wertz as Pandora, but Noah did a lovely job.

This mashup of Hollywood college musicals of the 1940s with Aristophanes' obscene Greek classic comedy Lysistrata was stolen in both productions by the Greek boy chorus representing Ionic (Steven Satyricon), Corinthian (Ste Fishell), and Doric (Bobby Singer) columns, who narrate their defining characteristics in a series of phallic double entendres that are nothing if not informed.

Among the many barely clothed cast members, my favorite in apparent innocence and beauty was Carlos Barrera above as Thersites.

The reason to see this production, above all, is to hear the live music of Scrumbly Koldewyn above, under his own musical direction. This is like getting to see Noel Coward in a small theater conducting his own music from the piano for one of his musicals. It's a genuinely rare experience.

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