“Dishing with the Divas” is one of a series of shows from the production team of Entertainment Events Inc. Out of New York, Entertainment Events warms up shows in New York and then takes them all over the country, casting locally wherever they go. On the West Coast they cast in Seattle. They are famous for such shows as “Late Nite Catechism,” “Defending the Caveman,” “Girls Night: The Musical” and “Tony N Tina’s Wedding.”
I could not find confirmation anywhere in the program or online, but I’m pretty sure “Dishing with the Divas” is a spinoff from “Girls Night,” with the same women. When I saw the show on opening night, the audience seemed familiar with each of the characters.
The setting is the final live studio broadcast of “Girl Talk” on WPMS radio with two hosts and a sex therapist, Dr. Lauda, dishing and busting out with musical hits about love, motherhood and men.
The trio of actors encourages audience participation, and the opening-night audience gleefully joined in. It was like an almost girls-only audience at “The Rocky Horror Show.”
By my rough count, there were 50 people in the audience opening night and only five were men, and at least three of the five men were ushers or employees of the theater. Most of the women clearly knew what they were getting into: Many came in with red boas draped around their shoulders, and boas were for sale in the lobby. I have no idea what that was about, but suspect it must have had something to do with “Girls Talk.”
The humor is raunchy, low-brow camp. I thought it was juvenile and silly. Only a few of the jokes were funny. But perhaps that is because I am a man and the humor was aimed at women. Much of the audience was laughing loudly.
The three actors are Jorie Jones as Janice, an uptight professional who wants to get pregnant and is practically ruled by her ovulation calendar; Tiffany Chancey as Dr. Lauda, a comically stereotypical and sex-obsessed Latina who is into shoes and sex toys; and Cass Neumann as Barbara, a no-nonsense, menopausal gal who wears a fringed leather vest, old jeans and western boots, and who has had all she can take of men, sex and children. Her take on babies is that they grow into teenagers who hate you.
The only semblance of a story arc is that the show is ending and Janice has been contracted for an new show on her own, a running joke about Janice’s husband trying to call her and Barbara’s anger about being fired. Basically there is no story, and there doesn’t need to be.
The music is a list of rock and country hits such as “Let’s Get Loud,” “Hot Stuff,” “I’m So Excited,” and “Stay With Me Baby.” All but “Stay With Me Baby” are performed by the trio. The latter is a moving, plaintive and powerfully solo by Jones, a definite highlight of the show and one of the few moments that is not silly.
The women talk about shoes, men, pregnancy and childcare. There are a lot of sex jokes, often using slang expressions for lady parts such as “V-JJ,” “hoo ha” and “down there.”
Each of these women inhabits her character so naturally that I had to remind myself they were acting. They’re also excellent singers.
I did not like it, but if you enjoy camp, raunchy jokes and rollicking music, this must might be the evening of entertainment you’ve been waiting for.
Check Alec’s blog at alecclayton.blogspot.com for reviews of other area theatrical productions.
Dishing with the Divas
When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays through Feb. 26.
Where: Centerstage at Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way.
Tickets: $35 adults, $30 seniors (65 and older) and military: $15 youth (ages 18-25): $12 17 and younger.
Information: 253-661-1444, centerstagetheatre.com.
Note: Recommended for 18 and older because of adult content.