Warning if you find any of the following offensive you may want to cease reading this review: Dominatrixes, Zombies, Hermaphrodites, Golden Showers, leather outfits, lingerie just about any sexual deviancy you can think of…try to relax and open up your mind a little bit.
Okay, with that out of the way, if you don’t have such delicate sensibilities and morals, are looking for a good dark and wicked laugh, stop what you are doing and make plans to see the Egads! Theater Company production of Eating Raoul The Musical.
Eating Raoul opens with the number “Meet the Blands”, introducing us to the straight-laced Bland’s, Marry and Paul. Living in a swinging apartment complex in the hustle and bustle of of late ’60’s Los Angeles (La La Land). They can do nothing more than dream about getting away from all the deviants that seem to inhabit most of their complex, and the rest of LA for that mater. They dream of opening their own restaurant (A Small Restaurant) away from the city in what I would equate to dulls-ville. Problem is they are struggling just to get by, let alone be able to save the money they need to get a place to start down the path of their restaurant dreams. Mary (Molly Denninghoff) is the knock out gorgeous wife of Paul who is rather well uh bland, and one of those “how did he pull that girl” looking type of guys. No offense to Dana Joel Nicholson who plays Paul as well as one could given such a Bland, though scheming interesting guy. Paul’s problem is that every man that lay’s eyes on Mary can’t wait to get their hands on her.
Just when things seem to have reached a new low after Paul loses his job, an incidental visit by Donna The Dominatrix, played with a sly perfect mix of fun and dangerous sex kitten by Ashley Otis, the Bland’s see an opportunity to get out of their rut and well on their way to their dreams. Things seem to be going well in this new found venture as sex fetishist for hire until their new building super Raoul, played by the hilarious Francisco “Pancho” Villegas catches on to their scheme and black mails his way into their plan, while also attempting to work his way up Mary’s skirt.
Here is what I really enjoyed about Eating Raoul, it’s just good silly, dark comedy fun. Pretty much free of any kind of heavy handed message. There is a fleeting glimpse of one but it’s merely that. The production Directed by Steven Eubank has a joy and humor to it that sustains near through out the show. Toward the end of the second act it treads precariously close to overstaying it’s welcome but seems to be aware of this and wraps things up swiftly. It features a strong ensemble cast that switch out rolls and do an outstanding job in each turn.
Eating Raoul is a sweet indulgence if you are looking for a good time. The true Blands of the world may not appreciate this type of humor but all others should get a kick out of it, I know I did.
Eating Raoul: the Musical plays at the Off Center Theater in Crown Center (which shares space with the Crown Center Screenland) through July 3. For specific show dates and tickets visit EgadsTheatre or call 816-842-9999
I give Eating Raoul 4 “I’m Ginger!(s)” out of 5
By John Coovert