According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Review: Sock Puppet Showgirls
by Eric Miles Glover

In 1995, the GOP controlled the 104th Congress in both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time since 1953. Michael Jordan returned to the Chicago Bulls, and the prosecution delivered its opening statement in the trial against O.J. Simpson. Ginger Rogers died, both UPN and the WB Television Network initiated operations, and ShowgirlsShowgirls!—the NC-17-rated film full of “adult” overtones and themes—was released to universal acclaim (from teenaged males, who, according to network television news reports at the time, stole copies of the film from video rental stores to see girl-next-door “Jessie” bare her intimate parts).

Showgirls, like Mommie Dearest, Night of the Living Dead, Office Space, and Pink Flamingoes, has achieved cult status and is aired—due to the advance in digital censorship—on VH1, with “animated” undergarments that veil once-visible female anatomies. Sock Puppet Showgirls, one of the attractions at FringeNYC Festival 2004, returns with an engagement at Ace of Clubs in SoHo. About agitated outsider Nomi Malone, who climbs the sordid Las Vegas il-legitimate entertainment circuit ladder from humble beginnings as an inexperienced stripper to superstardom as a dancer—showgirl!—Sock Puppet Showgirls lampoons the film and, though faithful to its source material, uses comedic license when appropriate with oh-so delicious reckless abandon.

“Nomi Malone is what Las Vegas is all about!” and sock puppet smut is what Sock Puppet Showgirls delivers. During the puppet show, sock puppet Nomi: (a) befriends sock puppet Lamb Chop; (b) engages in lascivious sock puppet behaviors with sock puppets Cristal—like the champagne—and her beau, Zack; (c) exhibits her sock puppet temperamental side (“I AM NOT A WHORE!”); (d) flashes her sock puppet breasts and intimate parts alongside sock puppet dancers—showgirls!—Big Bird and Elmo; (e) pole-dances; (f) shows sock puppet aggression toward sock puppet DRRS (or Date Raping Rock Star); and—to the satisfaction of the jam-packed audience—(g) throws sock puppet Cristal down that long and unforgettable flight of stairs. Complete with choreographed sock puppet production numbers and sexual favors, Sock Puppet Showgirls—unsuitable for children (and prudes!)—guarantees a raucous, tasteless, and vulgar excursion for Showgirls addicts, sock puppet enthusiasts, and people in search of sidesplitting excitement.

In 2004, MGM released the Showgirls V.I.P. Edition (do not ask!), which includes a “Greatest Film Ever Made” featurette, a “how-to” lap-dance tutorial, and a “Pin the Pasties on the Showgirl” game. Given the sock puppet innovation and theatrical achievement of Sock Puppet Showgirls, it behooves MGM to re-release the V.I.P. Edition with sock puppet Nomis—accessories, costumes, and temperamental sides included—among its goodies.

Click here for information about Sock Puppet Showgirls performances.

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