In Siamese Sex Show an Evil Corporation Takes Over the World — and People's Sex Lives
Erin Rye and Eddie Gutierrez in Siamese Sex Show
Siamese Sex Show is one of those offbeat musicals where it doesn’t seem to matter that one or two plot threads are a little hard to follow. The choreography by April Thomas is so exuberant, the costumes by Michael Mullen are so fanciful, and the story and spectacle so deliciously weird that a bit of confusion about the narrative can readily be dismissed as not all that significant.
Staged with skillful imagination by director Kiff Scholl in a tiny venue, John Papageorge’s musical (he wrote the music, book and lyrics) takes place in a dystopian future. The evil Monocorp corporation, personified by its callous and crafty CEO (Keith E. Wright), is out to control the world. First though, they’re looking to govern the sex lives of as many consumers as possible with a new product called the Love Light. They’ve also conspired to replace pop stars (whom the company views as headstrong and expensive), with mechanized robots decked out as bimbo-like and scantily clad chorus girls (represented by Erin Rye, wearing a fabulous wig designed by Sheila Dorn). The real pop stars — Cloie Wyatt Taylor, in an impressive comic turn, as a flashy diva; Sean Leon as a talented rapper; and Riccardo Berdini as an exotically garbed heart throb — have all been tarred with manufactured scandals and are on the run, their lives imperiled.
Janelle Dote, Miki Holmes, Jillian Easton, Alice Austin and Alyssa Noto
Meanwhile, to help sell the product, the company has recruited George O. Thornhill (Eddie Gutierrez) an extraordinarily naïve and squeaky-clean adman who comes up with a winning jingle, ensuring his value to the company. Enamored of Vivian (Jillian Easton), one of Monocorp’s operatives, he unwittingly becomes instrumental in the corporation’s evil plans. (It bears mention that apart from the fun, the show deals with a secret grab for power of the already powerful. For all the hyperbole and glitz, there’s relevance here as well.)
No small part of the energy and fun is propelled by the seemingly tireless quartet of provocatively garbed dancers (Dayna Alice Austen, Janelle Dote, Miki Holmes and Alyssa Noto) who are dynamite to watch. Set designer David Offner makes terrific use of the narrow playing area (with curtained stalls off the side like a red light district in some seedy foreign city). And the show includes lyrics from hip-hoppers Kool Keith, Mistah F.A.B. and J-Diggs.
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The play's most glaring imperfection is its length — an hour and 45 minutes with no intermission — which is just too long, despite the engaging entertainment.
GO! The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; through Nov. 13. (323) 960-7738, plays411.com/siamese.
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