Sometimes there comes a show that is nothing but pure fun, toe tapping mindless entertainment and has no other mission then to simply take the audience away from its problems for a few hours. Then there is a show like "Girls Night: The Musical", which almost single handily sets the women's movement back several decades. Insulting, rude, crass and indignant are qualities that can all work well in a musical (or review as this is) if the underlying story can support it. But in Girls Night: The Musical, there is nary a cast member (sans one) that shows any truth into what they are portraying on stage.
The plot (if it can be called that) takes place at a karaoke bar where the daughter of a deceased "angel" is having her engagement party. Through an exhaustive narrative, the "angel" tells of her friendship with the women at the party as each one gets her moment in the karaoke spotlight to sing an over the top disco tune. Not that there is a lack of talent within the cast but given the screeching, screaming and overacting, any sign of real human beings is rarely seen. Shelby Garrett plays the deceased Sharon who narrates the evenings' events and who also constantly tries to upstage her fellow actors in every scene. Garrett tell us her character died by falling off a moped after she refused to wear a helmet because she just got "her hair did". My theory is it was an intentional hit and run.
The rest of cast includes Andrea DeCamp (Anita), the very comically gifted Jennifer Oakley (Kate) and Marken Greenwood (Liza) who screamed so loud and often during the show that she lost her voice halfway through (or appeared to). Sonya Carter is credited with directing the production, but clearly, these ladies where left on their own to try to put Girls Night together.
The saving grace of the evening was Missy Aguilar who actually had some semblance of character and feeling as Carol. Her rendition of "Don't Cry Out Loud" was quite moving until some voraciously cocktailed audience members decided to sing along with her at full voice.
Now for those of you who don't care about acting, plot or the execution of stagecraft and who just want to go hear some fun music with great vocals, this maybe the show for you.
More important than the performance of Girls Night: The Musical is the mission behind the show. Throughout the run, the producers of Girls Night: The Musical, Entertainment Events, Inc. have teamed up with two charities, Bright Pink (which is the only national not-for-profit that focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women) and ONEHOPE wine which will give half its proceeds to various causes such as Breast Cancer, Autism, AIDS, the Planet, and help in supporting our Military Troops. Though the application Bartab, patrons can purchase two general admission or VIP tickets and pair them with a bottle of ONEHOPE wine at a discounted rate which they will receive during their visit to The Club at 5 West (5 W. Division), where the musical performs. For more information please visit www.bartab.com. or www.girlsnightthemusical.com.
Girls Night: The Musical runs through August 26th at The Club at 5 West (5 W. Divison), Chicago. Tickets are ($45-$65) and Group tickets ($35-$55) are on sale at www.girlsnightthemusical.com. or by calling 877-386-6968.