Miami Nice: A Golden Girls Musical brings the '80s to the Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N Milwaukee Avenue for two weeks ending tonight on the 26th.
The creation of Jeff Bouthiette, who has tons of improv and sketch comedy under his belt, Miami has some hot flashes that will warm up audiences in the cold.
The television show The Golden Girls was a hit for seven seasons thanks to a wonderful cast and smart storytelling. It is ripe for parody although Miami Nice shines when the performers are getting to the heart of the characters. Some have more success than others. Eric Muller channels Bea Arthur to great effect possibly helped by the fact that she was masculine and now played by a man. He is able to improvise well just by his quick witted sarcasm and naturalness. Audience members are asked to keep things fresh by playing Mad Libs before the show by calling out nouns and adjectives that are used in later scenes.
Gender bending is all over the place with the three leads played by men in Golden drag and Stacey Smith being the one woman stealing scenes as Sofia. Grant Drager captures mannerisms of Blanche but could have upped the southern accent a hair on that feathered wig of his.
Matt Colton doesn't get the innocence of Betty White but he has a difficult road to go (even to St. Olaf) with her being a mastermind in a drug deal that is totally uncharacteristic of Rose. Colton hits the "Sweet Spot" on the musical numbers though and with songs like "Let Her Put Her Finger In Your Butt" and "The Shit's Going Down" how can they go wrong?
Don't miss scenes covering the date with Dorothy and hanging on the lanai that will make you want to devour some cheesecake. Cocktails are served but I wanted to bring a box of wine to see one of my favorite shows parodied. Read my interview with the real Betty White interview in Windy City Times this week and thank you Gorilla Tango for being a friend!
Visit www.gorillatango.com or call 773-598-4549 for details as well as future productions.