Book your tickets now to 50 Shades musical send-up.
musical review Grey areas 50 SHADES! THE MUSICAL by the company (Marshall Cordell, Albert Samuels and Emily Dorezas). At Bluma Appel (27 Front East). To April 13. $39-$75. 1-855-899-7852 or ticketmaster.ca. See Continuing, this page. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
While Fifty Shades Of Grey was written for a mature adult audience, the parody currently onstage at the Bluma Appel is best suited to adults craving something more juvenile. The 2011 erotic romance bestseller lends itself to lowbrow laughs, and this production delivers them as a musical comedy with heart... plus a few other body parts.
Even if you haven't read the book, you've probably heard of Anastasia Steele, the virginal English lit major who soon finds herself conflicted by (and literally tied up in) a sexual relationship with BDSM-inclined industrial tycoon Christian Grey.
An eight-person creative team studded with Second City talent provides solid structure by opening with a threesome of book-club moms discussing the novel and then periodically returning to them. Plus, to their credit, the writers never parody just the book, but the whole Fifty Shades mommy-porn fad.
The cast fully commit to their ludicrous roles. As Grey, Jack Boice elicits some of the night's biggest laughs in a sex scene with well-chosen sound effects, then sings a raunchy song that includes an Urban Dictionary's worth of slang. Eileen Patterson's Anastasia is more fun than in the book, and her soaring voice makes even the silliest lyrics palatable. The fine supporting cast includes Kim David in two roles, one of which takes her into the audience in a scene that redefines the phrase "phoning it in."
Originally conceived for the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the show requires little space and would be better staged in a more intimate venue. The material isn't exactly fresh any more, and the script too frequently relies on clichés and innuendo for easy laughs, but it's still a night out that's good for a giggle.