Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THEATER REVIEW

'Olesons' Delights, Disgusts

October 26, 1998|F. KATHLEEN FOLEY

Campy, outrageous and refreshingly raunchy, the New York-based Nellie Olesons are in town, repeating tried-and-true sketches from previous L.A. outings and enough new material to keep the mix bubbling--make that spewing.

"And Now . . . the Nellie Olesons," at the Tamarind, features Nora Burns, John Cantwell, Marissa Copeland and Terrence Michael, all gifted physical comics with split-second timing and a daring disregard for the proprieties. Co-writers Burns and Michael are mavens of tastelessness, penning sketches that span the gamut from the merely outre to the defiantly disgusting.

Here, once again, Burns plays goy toy nonpareil Menorah, "the Jewish Madonna," entertaining at a bris with her hunky dancers Isaac and Moishe (Cantwell and Michael). Copeland hilariously hawks X-rated exercise equipment, and Michael, who does a mean Joan Crawford in every sense of the word, shows us what might have been if Mommie Dearest had been entrusted with Helen Keller's early education.

In the stylish opener, Cantwell and Michael play closet homosexuals who gaze longingly at each other across a restaurant, then leap up and perform a pas de deux from "West Side Story" while their wives chatter on obliviously. This is classy, whimsical stuff--but much of the material is so sexually graphic it prompts disbelieving groans as well as laughter. Director Matthew Kasten keeps the action at a spanking pace--no pun intended.

* "And Now . . . the Nellie Olesons," Tamarind Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Ends Nov. 1. $15. (323) 660-8587. Running time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|