Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Applause! Applause! Review of The Bible Show: Where Are They Now? at The Kraine Theater by Nickolaus Hines

This review of The Bible Show: Where Are They Now? at The Kraine Theater was written by Nickolaus Hines and published in Volume X, Issue 5 (2015) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

The Bible Show: Where Are They Now?
Written by God
Presented by Storybook Burlesque
The Kraine Theater
85 East 4th Street
New York, New York 10003 
Reviewed 12/30/15  

After being canceled, disbanded, and revived, Storybook Burlesque is back in 2015 with their most raucous show: The Bible ShowThe Winter Burlesque Blitz presented by FRIGID New York concluded their five-show run of nudity with The Bible Show: Where Are They Now?. Storybook Burlesque disbanded a few years ago, but it keeps bringing back new versions of their Bible Show, the show they bill as "destroying some of the most sacred tales ever put to paper."

Nothing has changed in The Kraine Theater on the bottom floor of the KGB Bar. Limits, inhibitions, and clothes are tossed aside as audience members are given fair warning the show will be "terribly, terribly blasphemous." Slip into the chair, buy a beer at the bar and get comfortable because missing a verse of The Bible Show means missing something you'll wish you had experienced.

BooBess guides the audience through a loose storyline of the most popular storybook in the world. Loose as in without BooBess's guidance, most of the first couple of acts might appear to be unrelated. A dance is a dance, however, and the through line of the eventual Bible story gets back on track with a gluttonous Magdalena Fox as Eve devouring half a pumpkin pie, pudding, and her apple bra. Feel free to refer back to the line "terribly, terribly blasphemous." But if BooBess's shout of "Welcome Sinners!" after singing an enticing opening rendition of Hozier's hit "Take Me To Church" didn't make you walk out the door, it's too late now. There's nothing left to do but enjoy yourself.

The performer Essence Revealed takes "50 Shades Of Grey" to a different level by literally putting the Bible in chains (think S & M). It's the perfect way to "get back in the mood for Bible study."

BooBess knows how to handle a crowd. Even when technical difficulties arise (as they do in one-run shows), she sips her Champagne and cajoles the audience until they bring their hands together. It's not like she has any option. She not only runs the show and tells the story between the dances, she also produced the whole thing.

Split thrice by technical difficulties and a raffle-based intermission, the show got increasingly better as time moved on. The majority of audience members were familiar with the MC, the other performers, and Storybook Burlesque, which helped create the rollicking crowd atmosphere.

Fancy Feast (Miss Coney Island 2016) joined Storybook Burlesque to tell one of the few Biblical stories of female empowerment - the story of Judith. She seduces a Roman guard and then chops off his head. Fancy Feast dances with a wrapped up head to the song "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair" from the musical South Pacific. It's a surprisingly fitting song sung by a more than fitting performer.

The show stopper was a repeat performance from years past of The Story Of Lazarus by Jenny C'est Quoi. With lights off and donning a glow in the dark skeleton suit, she performed a resurrection that resulted in a complete rebirth, just like Lazarus himself.

Finally, just in case a member of the audience wasn't yet shocked or offended, the last act takes on the birth story of Jesus himself with Mary played by the only man in the show. All I will say is that the attempted delivery involves the use of a wire clothes hanger.

People who are easily offended or believe in a higher power should probably skip attending or even reading about The Bible Show: Where Are They Now?. For the rest of us sinners, however, it's one of those shows you can only hope comes back for another year.

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