Turns out, Monday night, the Big Theatres and the Little Theatres of Washington were lying down together after all – despite rumors to the contrary. Let’s just say a lot got bared at Signature Theatre at the Summer Hummer 2013 – also known as “the Second Coming.”
And if you read these words and thought we were discussing a Christian revival meeting then you need your libido examined.
Things got off to a lively start and an opportunity to clear out if we weren’t up to the game with the crowd-pleasing song and dance “Tonight we’re X-rated.” Some of the best dance bodies in town were prominently on display. Alas, when the last piece came off, the gorgeous female performers (including Who’s Who in the upcoming production of Miss Saigon) were facing upstage and the musicians got the best view.
The crowd was made up of mostly theatre people, and we are not above laughing at our narcissistic selves. Will Gartshore brought out an anatomically-correct blow-up partner, wearing a mask of his own face, and demonstrated life and love with an actor.
Everyone’s favorite Bobby Smith, the quintessential triple hitter, was one of the few who kept his privates private. Well, more or less. Donna Migliaccio did a turn in a cross between Lotte Lenya and Greta Garbo, whose jaw in the thick-German accent dropped so low in “Find Yourself an Easy Mark” it nearly got dislocated in the process, all the while managing her titillating tassles to turn in opposite directions, showing she is practicing for a new career in show biz. Sherri L. Edelen gave us a reprise of a favorite number from last year, which got everyone actively participating – in an insinuating refrain with gestures – something about her little cat. Miaow!-
Even our very own classical actor and star of that seasonal favorite Christmas Carol, Ed Gero, didn’t stop himself from stooping with the lowest of the low. Well, alright, he didn’t take his clothes off, but you know that man has a dirty mind, penning an X-rated sonnet for Master Will Shakespeare himself. What was he thinking? As for that exhibitionist the Cat in the Hat, well, he may be barred from family theatre for the rest of his whiskered career.
So, if I told you that one of my big turn-ons was Ms. Catherine Flye, reading from a recipe book (also for a good cause, I Can Cook Too,) would I come across like someone who swears they read Playboy for the well-written articles? Well, dahling, speaking as only the British can do, Miss Flye, reading a recipe for Michael Kahn’s Juicy Meatloaf, was positively mouth watering.
Think of the evening as part tits-tillating and part raunch, mixed with some good time roasting of each other in which I learned that I never get asked to the really good theatre parties.
Most everything at this party was just good cheeky fun. (Thank your handsome buns for that, Tom Story.) The song and dance numbers were tight and sassy. Choreographer Matthew Gardiner got the crowd going with a rendition of a “Chicago” number, and he himself joined in later in a hot Beyonce tribute.
As good as it all was, some of the best moments came in the second half of the evening when someone or other turned up the heat. Ms. Edelen returned to improvise new lyrics to “Everything’s coming up roses” switching in suggestive words that had been offered up by audience members, and her vocal chops and assurance showed beyond a doubt this is one musically hot dame! But it was Carolyn Cole who took the subject of sex to a whole other level of I-can’t-believe-she’s–singing-that! People howled with laughter and leapt to their feet. Oh man, I can say no more and still get this printed.
Did I say this was all for a good cause? The whole evening was to raise funds for “Taking Care of Our Own,” a program of theatreWashington to assist performers with emergency situations. Based on the model of Broadway Cares, the Washington community has gotten behind this relatively new program and shown indeed that our local community is caring and generous. Some artists have already benefited from the fund.
Artistic Director of Signature, Eric Schaeffer, who co-directed the evening with choreographer Matthew Gardiner, summoned the hunks to strut, grind, and strip down, and sent the women to correct dollars and credit cards with Schaeffer commanding the audience to give “More!”
And the givers kept on giving. TheatreWashington reports the evening raked in $24,500, surpassing last year’s event. So count on more Summer Hummers to come.
So if you missed it, you can still get a good feel by giving to “Taking Care of Our Own.”