The cast of Friends of Dorothy: An Oz Cabaret.
BOTTOM LINE: Friends of Dorothy is an outrageous, scintillating burlesque-Vaudeville production for fans of drag, daring-do, and dress-dropping.
The Conatus Productions' debut Fringe show, Friends of Dorothy: An Oz Cabaret, is a burlesque variety-act with acrobatics, aerial dancing, stripping, and a lot of heart. When Dorothy is flushed down the toilet at her local Kansas Starbucks, she finds herself in the Land of Bras, where each new character has his or her own circus-style, center ring performance, and where almost everyone strips down to pasties.
The highlights of the show include the stunning aerial feats of the roofie-toting wandering Munchkin and the Flying Monkeys trapeze act. The Cowardly Lion also deserves notice for an audacious amount of personality in her fun, playful strip tease. But by far the star of this production is the costumes. Every person on stage wears beautiful, stunning cupcake ensembles in varying arrays of glitter, sequins, and easy-to-pop snaps! (Oh, my!) The rainbow of tulle and fishnets alone is worth seeing.
The show itself doesn't have much plot to speak of and every Vaudevillian performance number is too long (with the exception of the Not-So-Wizard-of-Bras's strip), but amazing skills are showcased, and the charming, witty cast makes the frequent production mishaps the best part of the show. Sometimes the lights don't come on, sometimes the clothes don't come off, but the cast is always ready to improvise with a joke.
In short, whether the cast was whizzing through the air or wrestling a stuck zipper, this audience had the most fun I've seen at a Fringe show. If drag and debauchery are your humor, you'll enjoy Friends of Dorothy.
(Friends of Dorothy: An Oz Cabaret plays at The Ellen Stewart Theatre @ La Mama, 66-68 East 4th Street between Bowery and 2nd Avenue, through August 22nd. Remaining performances are Thursday, August 19th at 7:15pm, Friday, August 20th at 2pm , Saturday, August 21st at 7:15pm, and Sunday, August 22nd at Noon. For more information visit www.conatusproductions.com. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door, and are available at FringeNYC.com, by calling 866.468.7619, or in person at FringeCENTRAL, located at 1 East 8th Street at 5th Avenue . There is NO LATE SEATING for Fringe NYC shows.)