50 Shades! The Musical—The Original Parody. Elektra Theatre (see Off Broadway). Book and songs by various authors. Directed by Al Samuels and Rob Lindley. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 30mins. One intermission.
50 Shades! The Musical—The Original Parody: In brief
Al Samuels and Rob Lindley of Chicago's Baby Wants Candy—an improv troupe best known for its hour-long impromptu musicals—go on-book as directors of a spoof that slaps and tickles E.L. James's monstrously successful bit of mommy porn, Fifty Shades of Grey.
50 Shades! The Musical—The Original Parody: Review by Raven Snook
Sorry, masochists, there’s no need to suffer through E.L. James’s painful erotic trilogy (I made it to page 69) to get off on this musical parody. Assembled by an orgy of bicoastal comedy writers, the show is more stimulating than you’d expect, tickling Fifty Shades virgins and detractors alike—although sincere fans may leave frustrated.
As iconic BDSM couple Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, Amber Petty is all deadpan wide-eyed innocence and the irrepressible Chris Grace uses his decidedly imperfect body to outrageous comic effect, especially when sporting a skimpy workout suit. But bad sex writing is an easy target, and though there are inspired moments—the Gilbert and Sullivan–style patter song “Red Room,” filled with a laundry list of debauched acts—around the one-hour mark you start to wonder if the X-rated goofing is ever going to climax.—Theater review by Raven Snook
THE BOTTOM LINE This smutty spoof is mostly foreplay.