Saturday, April 2, 2016

Applause! Applause! Review of Paige Turner's Easter Egg-Stravaganza! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of Paige Turner's Easter Egg-Stravaganza! at The Laurie Beechman Theatre was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 6 (2016) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

Paige Turner's Easter Egg-Stravaganza!
Written & Directed by Paige Turner (Daniel Kelley)
Special Guests: Jackie Coxx (Character Creator Unknown)
Shnappshanna Von Carlsberg (Erik Christensen)
The Spitfires: Drew Bloom & James Michael Avance
Choreographed by Vinny Celeiro
The Laurie Beechman Theatre
407 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10036
Reviewed 3/25/16  

Except for some volume control issues, especially during The Golden Girls' Henny Penny, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey "The Sky Is Falling" television scene recreation, Paige Turner's Easter Egg-Stravaganza! is a perfect show and one of the best I've seen all year. It is a high-energy, non-stop, professionally choreographed production that will keep you on the edge of your seat eager to discover what amazingly entertaining skit you will be exposed to next. Starting the show with an upbeat, hilarious parody of "Hello!" from The Book Of Mormon, extremely talented Paige Turner appears with her Elders (The Spitfires) and Sisters (Jackie Coxx & Shnappshanna Von Carlsberg) to set the stage for what is to come. In a second parody of "I Believe" from The Book Of Mormon, we learn of Miss Turner's commitment "to spend less time on my back" and "to teach all the Baby Queens by spreading The Great Gay Gospel to Food Courts throughout America." She also believes Oprah is Jesus and that her special guest Jackie Coxx should be known as "The Cross-Dresser For Less."

Everything Easter and Spring is featured in this fun-packed show from the crucifixion of Jesus to the Easter Parade. Drew Bloom, dressed only in a white bath towel, drags a full-sized crucifix through the audience and across the stage followed by James Michael Avance, dressed as an Easter Bunny carrying a placard saying "IHOP For Jesus." If you associate Spring with Spring Showers, you will have the opportunity to hear a medley of three songs featuring the "rain" theme including "Singin' In The Rain," "Don't Rain On My Parade," and "It's Raining Men." If you associate Spring with fertility and increased sexual activity, you will see a number of videos involving bunnies having sex with other bunnies or attempting to have anal sex with other animals. There is a parody of "Save The People" from Godspell entitled "God Save The Bottoms." Paige Turner sings that after telling one of the Spitfires he "is unlikely to find a top in this audience." She says, "That would take an Easter Miracle!" 

Shnappshanna Von Carlsberg brought politics into the show but in a way where everyone would laugh. She sang "Springtime For Hitler" from The Producers as "Springtime For Donald & America. Winter for Hillary and Bernie - That Jew!" The parody lyrics flowed more naturally than it sounds here. It was a very clever bit! Every actor in this show is worthy and talented enough to be performing in a Broadway show. Paige Turner, Jackie Coxx and Shnappshanna Von Carlsberg enable audiences to see how excellent drag shows can be in terms of costume design (pink, blue & yellow spring dresses), choreography and performance skills. Their vocal talents resonated throughout the full-house and enthusiastic fans, whether they were singing "O Bless The Lord, My Soul" from Godspell,  Madonna's "Just Like A Prayer," or their closing number, "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound Of Music. Drew Bloom is an outstanding, talented and charismatic actor who would excel in almost any role. He, together, with James Michael Avance, an eclectic performer who was able to successfully portray many characters (including an egg), made The Spitfires explode with sexual energy especially during "All For The Best" from Godspell, billed as an Energizer Bunny Interlude! Drew Bloom telling every audience member he would like to have sex with them didn't hurt either! 

Paige Turner is one of the original creators, producers and hosts of NYC's live drag reality show So You Think You Can Drag? at New World Stages, now in its 7th year. She is a Glam Award winner for her music video "Grindr Connection" (a parody of The Muppets' "Rainbow Connection"). Catch an encore of Paige Turner's Confessions Of An Un-Natural Blonde at The Laurie Beechman Theatre on Friday, April 22, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. If this show is any indication of her talent, you will not be disappointed! Tickets are $22.00 and are available at or by calling 212-352-3101. There is a $20.00 food/drink minimum at each show. I will be there so if you disagree with my assessment of Paige Turner's talent, you can tell me to my face.

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