×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

At Least It’s Pink

What if the trashiest girl in your high school -- the one with the foul mouth, bad dye job and worse reputation -- grew up to have her very own show? That question gets answered by "At Least It's Pink," an obscenely funny cabaret co-written by Kenny Mellman of "Kiki and Herb" and Michael Patrick King, exec producer of "Sex and the City."

With:
With: Bridget Everett, Kenny Mellman, Rosa Curry, Sean Jenness, Peter Kim, Michael-Leon Wooley.

What if the trashiest girl in your high school — the one with the foul mouth, bad dye job and worse reputation — grew up to have her very own show? That question gets answered by “At Least It’s Pink,” an obscenely funny cabaret co-written by Kenny Mellman of “Kiki and Herb” and Michael Patrick King, exec producer of “Sex and the City.” But there’s a third writer who’s the real story here: Bridget Everett, star of this tongue-in-cheek autobiography and an unknown whose first major Gotham appearance seems guaranteed to make her a success.

Wearing a lace-up bustier and tight pinstriped pants, she makes her first impression with an anthem called “Big Girl,” announcing she’s an overweight sex junkie with a taste for degradation and liquor. That unexpected welcome — plus her nuclear energy and roof-shaking voice — gives Everett instant control of the room.

Through 13 songs and some salacious patter, she never dims a watt. But while her outsized persona might sound like boilerplate for every drag act from Hedwig to Divine, Everett and team burst with surprises.

For one thing, the music’s grand. Divorced from the dirty lyrics, Mellman and Everett’s score sounds like classic cabaret, delivering everything from brassy showstoppers to soaring ballads. The distance between form and content only gets funnier as the subjects grow increasingly extreme.

And the talk is more than just trash. King and Everett’s book provokes constant guffaws because it’s as clever as it is trashy. Talking about taking the subway to meet an online hook-up, Bridget sighs, “I know what you’re thinking: Young woman going up there to Harlem in the middle of the night for some anonymous down-low (sex). You’re thinking: Why not take a cab?”

This material wouldn’t be nearly as sharp without Everett’s stage persona. She performs with the earnestness of a young starlet finally getting her break, unaware some people may find her inappropriate. It’s not just that she’ll eat a potato chip she finds stuck in her bra. It’s that she doesn’t think she’s scandalous for doing it. Bridget isn’t trying to be a rebel; she’s just being herself. That bizarre innocence makes her a disaster worth cheering.

Creatives all deserve praise for making their finely crafted work feel so spontaneous. As director, King is particularly adept at balancing physical comedy with straight-ahead singing, so that one never overwhelms the other.

Angela Wendt’s costumes tell wicked jokes of their own. Touches like the snakeskin pattern on Bridget’s bustier subtly advance a stereotype of the low-class lady.

And those choices point to the show’s message: Let’s laugh at this woman who can’t hide herself. She’s funny because she’s a relief. Seeing Bridget — totally debauched yet still singing — makes our own little secrets seem less dirty. If this tramp can make it, so can we.

At Least It's Pink

Ars Nova; 99 seats; $25 top

Production: An Ars Nova presentation of a musical in one act, with music and lyrics by Kenny Mellman and Bridget Everett, book by Michael Patrick King and Everett. Directed by King.

Creative: Sets, Lauren Halpern; costumes, Angela Wendt; lighting, Tyler Micoleau; sound, Jorge Muellecq; production stage manager, Alaina Taylor. Opened Jan. 25, 2007. Reviewed Jan. 24. Running time: 1 HOUR, 15 MIN.

Cast: With: Bridget Everett, Kenny Mellman, Rosa Curry, Sean Jenness, Peter Kim, Michael-Leon Wooley.Musical numbers: "Big Girl," "Waiting," "Special Lady," "Canhole," "I'm Happy When," "Popular," "Back-Stabbing Bitch," "Skeetily Weedily Widdily Wo," "Maybe It's Time," "2 for 1 Special," "I'm Sorry," "A Lovely Shade of Pink."

More Legit

  • The Play That Goes Wrong review

    BBC Orders Comedy Series Based on ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

    The BBC has greenlit “The Goes Wrong Show,” a new series based on Mischief Theatre’s popular “The Play That Goes Wrong” stage production about a troupe that puts on disastrous plays. The stage show has transferred from London’s West End to Broadway for a J.J. Abrams-produced version described by Variety as “a broad, silly and [...]

  • By the Way Meet Vera Stark

    Off Broadway Review: 'By the Way, Meet Vera Stark' by Lynn Nottage

    After writing two harrowing Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, “Sweat” and “Ruined,” Lynn Nottage is entitled to have a little fun. But while this revival of her new play, “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” walks and talks like a screwball comedy, it has a real brain in its head. Before we get too serious, let’s meet [...]

  • Merrily We Roll AlongRoundabout Theatre CompanyMERRILY

    Off Broadway Review: 'Merrily We Roll Along'

    Like the optimistic youths at the end — or is it the beginning? — of “Merrily We Roll Along,” creatives keep going back to this problematic Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical, re-imagining the show in the hope that the end results will be different this time around. They’re not. But disappointments are often off-set by new [...]

  • My Fair Lady Laura Benanti

    Listen: Laura Benanti on 'My Fair Lady' and the Secret to Her Melania Trump Impersonation

    Laura Benanti is now playing her dream role on Broadway. At the same time, the Tony winner (“Gypsy”) is also playing her toughest part ever. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “It’s the most demanding part I think I’ll probably play,” said Benanti, now appearing as Eliza Doolittle in Lincoln Center Theater’s well-received revival of [...]

  • Hamilton West End Production.

    'Hamilton' Panic Over Mistaken Reports of Gunfire Injures Three in San Francisco

    Three people were injured after mistaken reports of an active shooter at a San Francisco production of “Hamilton” caused attendees to flee the theater. CNN reported that a woman experienced a medical emergency — later determined to be a heart attack — during a scene in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play wherein Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is shot on [...]

  • The American Clock review

    London Theater Review: 'The American Clock'

    Time is money. Money is time. Both come unstuck in “The American Clock.” Arthur Miller’s kaleidoscopic account of the Great Depression, part autobiography, part social history, crawls through the decade after the Wall Street crash, dishing up snapshots of daily life. In the Old Vic’s classy revival, director Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”) tunes into the play’s [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Off Broadway Review: Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Sea Wall/A Life'

    Comfy? Okay, let’s talk Death: sudden death, painful death, lingering death, accidental death, and whatever other kinds of death happen to come into the receptive minds of playwrights Simon Stephens (“Sea Wall”) and Nick Payne (“A Life”). The writing in these separate monologues — playing together on a double bill at the Public Theater — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content