“Chicks With ?????” – Stray Cat Theatre

This review aired on KBAQ April 22, 2013


Stray Cat Theatre, Tempe Performing Arts Center
Tempe, AZ

Biker chicks, mock but noisy motorcycles, scads of unrestrained innuendo, riotous sexual excesses, some mud wrestling, and tons of raucous laughs are the wacky ingredients of the show I’m reviewing tonight that has such a sensitive moniker that I can only say the first two words of the three word title, “Chicks With ?????.”  You get to fill in that inevitable last word of the Stray Cat Theatre’s latest production and, as a suggestion, think dirty.

The show’s a fast paced comic delight that will no doubt offend some audiences while delighting others.  It’s definitely an adult show, it’s often crass, it’s always crude but those are the things that make the show such marvelous fun.  There are even some pointed but extremely laughable jabs at nuclear power and at the local Palo Verde plant.  The show has a driving intensity and the 12-person ensemble gets the necessary lickety-split timing down flawlessly and, because they are so good, they make the show‘s weird irreverence work as it amuses.

The nameless play deals with an all girl biker gang who do things usually associated with men.  These women enjoy doing masculine things and flaunting their bizarre sexual proclivities in unusual ways.  The carryings on of this trashy group of women allows for much of the frivolous malarkey and shenanigans that make the play so much fun although as a piece of theater it stoops to easy laughs and doesn’t have any theatrical integrity.

Ron May’s staging milks every nuance of fun out of the feeble but funny script that sets audiences laughing uproariously.  And his cast couldn’t be better at handling the humor with the perfect light touch of comic delight.  Especially adept at the farcical shenanigans are Vanessa Kiernan’s Dixie, Emily Rubin’s Vespa DeAmour, Michelle Chin’s Cindi, and Shelly R. Trujillo’s over-the-top Varla but they aren’t the only stellar comediennes, they just have the biggest and funniest roles.  Stephen Kass is the masculine Joe who gets beaten down by several of the women and the rest of the ensemble each have their own laugh inducing moments.

The suggestive costumes are a hoot.  There are several bits of audience participation that bring theatergoers into the play to add further touches of delight.  One also has to mention the show’s lobby box office manager who creates her own laughable moments as the audience stops to pick up their show tickets.  Her wild merriment puts audiences into the proper mind-set for the show they are about to see.

“Chicks With you fill in the blank” is not profound theater but lots of fun.  It continues through May 11 at the Tempe Performing Arts Center in downtown Tempe.  For tickets, call the Stray Cat Theatre box office at 480-634-6435 or order tickets online at www.straycattheatre.org.

Grade: B

One Response to ““Chicks With ?????” – Stray Cat Theatre”

  1. Merrick said:

    Apr 22, 13 at 18:26

    EVERYONE WAS AMAZING! At least the women were. The guy who played Joe was a punching bag for the girls both in how he was treated by the chicks but also in his acting.