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The Nellie Olesons 

Wednesday, Oct 4 2006
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If you’re conservative, overweight, handicapped or squeamish at the site of two naked men playing the flute while their bits and pieces are tucked between their legs, do we have the queer comedy troupe for you. Terence Michael and John Cantwell, and Nora Burns, the hetero-female meat in this homo-male sandwich, don’t so much as offend (or your money back) as beat you black and blue with their funny stick. Sketches range from the Nellies’ very twisted takes on beauty pageants to the inner workings of gyms and parks as hotbeds of gay cruising; apparently, dogs are out and adopted, Third World children are in. Their wigs are tattered and their clothes are straight off of Aardvark’s racks, but Michael and Cantwell are never as funny as when they’re simply dancing, especially in “the most faggoty-ass sport in existence,” competitive aerobics. As one of the performers of the second gay comedy festival, Outlaugh 2006, benefiting the AIDS nonprofit Being Alive, the Nellies will be premiering new material as well as revisiting some old faves. Burns is dead-on in her impersonation of “horse face and cell-phone battery for a heart” Ann Coulter, while Michael and Cantwell reprise their should-be-famous interpretation of the Psycho shower scene in a pas de deux complete with Bernard Herrmann’s score and Norman Bates. Who knew simulating trickling water could elicit so many laughs? Also featured are the Gay Mafia, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Bruce Vilanch, Michele Balan, Page Hurwitz and headliner Margaret Cho. The Renberg Theater at the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, 1125 N. McCadden Pl., Hlywd.; Fri., Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.; $30. (323) 860-7300. Also at The Cavern Club Theater at Casita Del Campo, 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake; Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 26-28, 9 p.m.; $15, $18 at the door. (323) 969-2530.

­—Siran Babayan

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Reach the writer at sbabayan@laweekly.com

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