Busting Out!

Emma Powell and Mandi Lodge, the two blowsy, zoftig Aussie dames of "Busting Out!," come on like a Mack truck backed up to the Hayworth Theater with a cargo of raunch, nudity, flesh puppetry, audience participation and camp on the topics of female breasts and girl power.

With:
With: Emma Powell and Mandi Lodge.

Subtle they ain’t. Emma Powell and Mandi Lodge, the two blowsy, zoftig Aussie dames of “Busting Out!,” come on like a Mack truck backed up to the Hayworth Theater with a cargo of raunch, nudity, flesh puppetry, audience participation and camp on the topics of female breasts and girl power. The celebration of what’s Up Above was a hit Down Under, but here? As with any bachelorette party, plentiful alcohol will help.

If you gave Benny Hill a sex change and split his personality in two, you’d get these ladies. Lodge is the merrie trickster, naive yet with a wicked gleam in her eye. She shakes ’em with the greater vigor and flirts more openly with the gents in attendance (and some of the gals as well).

Act two features Lodge’s lengthy standup routine on incontinence, makeup buying and sex with hubby, making up in good humor what she lacks in good jokes.

Powell, the brains of the revue, is also the brains of the pair and officious emcee. She’s Oliver Hardy, long-suffering through her partner’s antics. An aggressive streak busts out when, as barking Chinese general Hung Lo, Powell treats the audience as her personal cadre for a class in Lactation 101.

Both remove their tops early and often, revealing extraordinarily pendulous accoutrements with a total lack of self-consciousness. To that extent “Busting Out!” is a piece of political theater, challenging men and women alike to get over their discomfort, already, and embrace humans’ fleshy essence.

Perhaps because of its touring nature, the production looks rather threadbare. It clearly wasn’t funded by an enormous endowment from the Mellon Foundation. (Sorry; just trying to get into the spirit of the thing.)

“Busting Out!” may or may not tickle your funny bone – the larger your own hooters, the more likely it will – but there’s something admirable about its guts.

Busting Out!

Hayworth Theater, Los Angeles; 192 seats; $60 top

Production: An Andrew Guild, Simon Bryce, Nirenna Productions and Hayworth Theater presentation of a revue in two acts created by Emma Powell, with additional material by Bev Killick and Bryce. Directed by Terence O'Connell.

Creative: Costumes, Robert Hansford; lighting, Jason Bovaird. Opened Oct. 16, 2011. Reviewed Oct. 19. Running time: 1 HOUR, 50 MIN.

Cast: With: Emma Powell and Mandi Lodge.

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