Fringeworthy

Hip Shot: Cabaret XXX: Everybody F*cking Dies

cabaretxxxBaldacchino Tent Bar – Fort Fringe

Remaining Performances:
Thursday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 19 at 1:45 p.m.
Tuesday, July 22 at 8 p.m.
Friday, July 25 at 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 27 at 3:30 p.m.

They say: Ding dong, the girls are dead! Join The Exes (and Roy!) and celebrate the life and death of Les Femmes Fatales at the rawkinest, rowdiest memorial service of all time. You never know who might show up…

Camila's Take: This show really ought to be called Cabaret XXX: Everybody's Fucking Died. Note the past tense. As written, it's a bit of false advertising.

Don't get me wrong: the ladies (plus their "tall, dark and funereal" pal Anderson Wells) totally slay it on their rock-and-roll numbers. But that's the only carnage on stage.

Instead of a kill-fest, we're all guests at a wake dictated by a barely-legible bar napkin. The stars of Cabaret XXX, scheduled to return for their who's-keeping-count [Fourth! – ed.] time at Fringe, have all perished in a classic music-biz plane crash. Said bar napkin notes that this musical remembrance was their last request — plus a commemorative game of naked Twister and the end of Cabaret XXX forever. (Spoiler alert: not all their wishes are honored).

Each diva takes on the role of her own mourner: an uptight ex, a frazzled cousin, an envious ex-bully. Wells plays a reluctant funeral director with a musical gift (and some sartorial surprises) hidden beneath his respectable suit.

The funeral theme was an odd choice. It makes for more than a little bit of whiplash as the show careens from comedy to mournfulness and back again (and again). But fuck it! Have another beer, don't think about it too hard, and sing along a little louder.

The music is a rollicking good time, as Allyson Harkey, Toni Rae Salmi, Karen Lange, and Wells overcome their sorrows and inhibitions to belt out a mix of rock standards, nostalgic favorites, and newer girl-power anthems. A death-themed medley near the end is practically worth the price of admission on its own.

One quick note: it may have XXX in the name, and at Wednesday night's performance, a sign warned of nudity. But the closest thing to nudity on stage is a well-dressed dildo. So feel free to be relieved or disappointed by that, depending on your predilections.

See it if:   You are so ready to shout/sing along to the Talking Heads, the Violent Femmes, and Pink.

Skip it if:   Your response to "Are you a FREAK LIKE ME?" is a whispered "not really."

...