Standing in the lobby of the Overture Center’s Capitol Theater, a plastic cup of Pinot Noir in hand, I was surrounded by middle-aged women and lipstick vibrators. As the elderly attendant scanned my ticket and directed me to my seat, Britney Spears’ “Slave” filled the air. Promptly at 7:30 pm, the lights dimmed and a commanding voice came over the sound system, reminding us that photography was prohibited and that we should make sure to set our cell phones to vibrate.
So began the Madison leg of Spank! Harder’s national tour.
In 2013, the Fifty Shades of Grey parody Spank! Played in over 160 cities, receiving rave reviews from audiences worldwide (including my mother). This year, Spank! Harder picks up right where Spank! left off, as author E. B. Janet (played by the hilarious Michelle Miracle) sets out to write a sequel to her bestselling novel.
Being a musical parody of the Fifty Shades franchise, I walked in with low cultural expectations and high hopes of seeing nearly naked men. Five minutes into the show, as two shirtless men gyrated to an explicit version of “It’s Raining Men”, that’s exactly what I got. The show won’t be winning a Tony anytime soon, but it delivers in providing harmless, raunchy fun.
What I was pleasantly surprised at was the top-notch improvisation from the four person cast (including Shelley Regner of Pitch Perfect fame), playing off the drunken women’s objectifying shouts from the audience and making individual audience members feel like they are part of the show.
Spank! Harder’s two day stint in Madison may be over, but I have a feeling that one day, a Spank! Even Harder may be making its way to the Capitol Theater stage… fingers crossed (I know my Mom’s are).
Click here for more information on the show.