It's not surprising that real-life bachelorette parties make up a large percentage of the audience for this show, which plays every Friday and Saturday night at 8 pm upstairs at the Culture Club. The audience members (mostly women) buy sex toys, wear plastic penis glasses that glow in the dark, and dance and flirt with heavily muscled and bare-chested characters named Zeus, Samson, and Hercules. Better, still, they are flirted with by the likes of Big Dick Reed and Shot Boy. As for the relatively few heterosexual men in the audience, their fantasies might get a workout courtesy of the leather-and-lace clad Lola or the curvaceous Cuban maid Inez.
Meanwhile, there is something of a plot in this two-hour show. Chances are you'll only catch pieces of the story because the music is always too loud; you have to be standing right next to the actors to hear what they're saying. Some form of structure is brought to the evening with specific, stage-bound activities hosted by the comically sleazy Mr. G (think "G-Spot," not the winsome WCBS weatherman). There is Sex Karaoke during which real brides-to-be -- and at least one ringer -- attempt to sing suggestive songs to the multitude. There is a sex toy demonstration that is more "Show & Tell" than "Show & Do." There is a game of "Truth or Dare" during which real brides-to-be are asked to engage in some mildly embarrassing activities, such as licking whipped cream from the nipples of Big Dick Reed. The sexy hunks lap dance for the girls -- and then the girls are asked to lap dance for the guys. All of this is rather benign. It may be "Truth or Dare" but it certainly isn't "Truth or Consequences," because there aren't any consequences. It's all very safe.
Still, the cast and company of Birdy provide the illusion that something sexy, dangerous, and daring is going on. That's why, in the final analysis, Birdy's Bachelorette Party is indeed "theater" -- even if it's the type of theater where one's brow and genitalia are at the same level. The show is simply a carefully controlled way for "the girls" to have their own version of a bachelor party, and its aspirations are no greater than that. It's Tony n' Tina meets The Chippendales. Birdy's is all about sex, and its scripted dialogue -- not to mention its costumes and props -- are unabashedly vulgar. Chances are that older and/or more sophisticated brides-to-be will not find this sort of entertainment to her taste; nor are we, a longtime married couple, the target audience for the show. But we were surrounded by (primarily) young women who were happily celebrating their special night. Put another way: If your idea of theater is going to BAM to see something in Swedish with headset translations, this show is decidedly not for you -- even if you are soon to be married. (But then, you probably realized that when you read about the plastic penis glasses).
The cast is attractive. On the female side, Jamie Sorrentini (as Inez) and Denise Fennell (as Lola) stand out for their beauty and audience-friendly behavior, respectively. Among the men, Wass M. Stevens commands attention as Mr. G and P.J. Mehaffey is amusingly flighty as Birdy's gay best friend, Ariel. Conceived by Mark Nassar, who was among the co-creators of Tony n' Tina's Wedding, the show was put together by Nassar, Fennell, and Suzanna Melendez, who also directs the show's disparate goings-on.
Birdy's Bachelorette Party might be the poster child for that growing tradition of "theater for people who don't like theater." Conversely, people who do like theater may not like Birdy. As another Birdy -- Tweety Bird -- once said, "Never the twain shall meet, because they run on different twacks."
Don't show this again.