(Jinkx Monsoon Website)
Starring: Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales
As Kitty Witless and Dr. Dan Von Dandy
Laurie Beechman Theatre
West Bank Café
407 West 42nd Street
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
August 22, 2013
I can’t remember when I felt so much ebullient energy in a cabaret show, recently, as I felt tonight at the Beechman Theatre. Jinkx Monsoon, aka Kitty Witless, who is actually Jerick Hoffer in drag, is elegant, feminine, gym fit, and sings like a veritable soprano. She does hand stands on the knees of an unsuspecting audience participant, she flirts and fights with her onstage partner, Major Scales, aka Dr. Dan Von Dandy, who is actually Richard Andriessen, not in drag, but in suit, then tuxedo, with lots of great makeup. He clowns around, with authentic vaudevillian gestures, but he plays piano, dances, and sings with true professional flourish. The storyline is that Dr. Von Dandy and Ms. Witless were 1920’s entertainers, who were frozen during an arctic trip and just defrosted. The show had the duo’s loyal fans cheering and yelling for more, throughout this first set. Kitty grandly arrives onstage three times in the set, with three glorious outfits, including a sumptuous dress and long white gloves, a boa and gown, and a tied bonnet, bustle, and cape.
The show’s music ranges from “Anything Goes” to “Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues”, to “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”, to “Take a Chance On Me”. Every time Dr. Dan says “Kitty”, she mews with sexy panache. There’s a skit about Ibsen’s Nora and Torvald, from “A Doll’s House”, with emphasis on Nora’s slamming shut the door. Throughout the skits and songs, Jinkx knows how to wedge between the lines some “in” jokes, referring to a French man in the audience, whom she met when she traveled the room, as well as asides to the front row guests, who might gain extra spotlight. Jinkx also adds a Joan Rivers joke, as they share a theatre space for their shows. The historical allusions are classy and researched, adding layers of content to the repartee. When Kitty and Dr. Dan throw in modern pop favorites, with recorded karaoke-type musicality, they dance up a storm. At one point, “I Will Survive” lit up the room. This is a show not to be missed, if you’re looking for pure fun and something sensational. As the Beechman Theatre also serves dinner and drinks, there’s a mood of revelry and kicking up one’s heels. In fact, that’s exactly what Jinkx Monsoon does, more than once.
Jinkx Monsoon in "THE VAUDEVILLIANS"
Courtesy of Wilson Models
Jinkx Monsoon and Richard Andriessen
in "THE VAUDEVILLIANS"
Courtesy of Wilson Models