‘Bridesmaids’ Spoof Fits Into New Las Vegas Shows
Land there is no confusion. “Bridesmaids” in Orleans is not a scene-by-scene adaptation of the hit 2011 comedy of the same name.
The use of “Unauthorized” in its very title is a hint that this is serious out-of-band satire.
“We wanted to make sure it was clear that Warner Bros. or anyone else in the original film had anything to do with this,” says John Bentham of Ivory Star Productions, the series’ Vegas production company. “When you establish that, you have the freedom to poke fun at the film in a sincere and affectionate way, but that always has an upside.”
“Bridesmaids: The Unauthorized Movie Musical Parody” opened for preview at The Venue at The Orleans on August 19. The official premiere is this week. The show runs at 9:15 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (doors at 8:45 p.m.), with tickets starting at $46.83.
This musical is among the newest titles to launch in Vegas during the COVID-19 reopening. The smaller shows battle it out against superstar headliners and major league sports. But Bentham says these shows can be successful.
“Relatively speaking, it’s been so far, so good, with these boutique shows,” he says. “I love our partnership with The Orleans. We are certainly close enough to the Strip to receive as many tourists as before. But some accounts were lower. We have very good nights and low nights. It’s like that right now. »
“Bridesmaids” is intended for ages 18 and up, the humor is aimed at an adult audience, just like the film. Thus, for example, we relive the famous scene of food poisoning, when women are struck down by the disease during their fitting.
“I didn’t know a girly comedy could be this funny until I saw ‘Bridesmaids,'” says actress and Vegas comedy writer Val Witherspoon, who wrote the script for the show. “I didn’t know Melissa McCarthy before ‘Bridesmaids’, and she’s amazing. So we got a lot of inspiration from the movie.
Witherspoon’s favorite moment was originally the food poisoning scene. Now it’s the airplane scene, as the cast flies to Vegas. “I like all the scenarios that intertwine, people go in one door and go out the other. Annie always laughs a lot with ‘Ready to paaaaarty!’”
It’s Nicole Unger as Annie. Maile Onsaga plays Lilian, with Erin Balstar as Helen, Luke Striffler as Rhodes/Becca (he’s charming, in character), Caitlin Ary as Megan, and Jackson Tobiska as Rita/Ted and the Air Marshal. McKena Silva and Jerod Perez are the swings. The cast memorizes and perfects many books, and a significant complement of original music directed by Chris Lash.
The production experienced some kismet from director Sarah Lowe. The veteran Vegas stage performer has appeared on ‘Jersey Boys’, ‘Absinthe’ and ‘Atomic Saloon Show’ over the years. A few years ago, she co-founded the Apple Sisters, an offbeat satire of 1940s vocal groups. The Apple Sisters were tapped for a comedy film over a decade ago.
“So we were in ‘Bridesmaids,’ originally, in the bridal shower scene,” says Lowe. “We didn’t do the final cut, but we did create the deleted scenes on Blu-ray. There you can find the Apple sisters and one of the sisters who still keep the “bridesmaids” alive in Vegas.
A look at a few more shows joining the “Brides” team in new titles across town:
The production show/concert is the first yacht rock residency in Las Vegas. Of course, yacht rock hasn’t been a big thing for so long. But the show co-anchors (so to speak) The Duomo at the Rio, with the long “Raiding the Rock Vault.” The Docksiders disembark at 6 p.m. daily (Dark Fridays and Saturdays). Designer Kevin Sucher and his band wear sailing caps and sequined yacht jackets. Yachting staples such as “Love Will Keep Us Together”, “Africa”, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” are performed with ease.
The family-friendly musical, based on “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” plays at 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Athena Showlounge in Alexis Park.
A pop soundtrack backs The White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter, Alice, The Red Queen and The Cheshire Cat. Derek Lux designs the action figures and co-stars in the series with his wife, Lauren. The couple performed the show across the country for years before settling down in Vegas.
“The Legacy of the Carpenters”
The full title, “Carpenters Legacy: A Re-creation of the 1976 UK Tour”, specifically describes the show’s format.
Sally Olson takes on the role of Karen Carpenter, with skilled instrumentalist Ned Mills as musical director/Richard Carpenter. “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Yesterday Once More”, “Superstar” and “Close to You” are expertly covered. Mills also slips into a fun parody of Spike Jones for comedic interaction.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Pegasus Showroom in Alexis Park.
Season 5 champion “America’s Got Talent” Michael Grimm and keyboard master Bill Zappia lead “Givin’ It to ‘Em” at 7 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month at Stirling Club’s Spirits Lounge. The duo are bringing in guest stars, and the show has been extended through 2023. It’s open to members and non-members alike.
Sax-wielding showman Justin Young invites special guests to his show at Robin Leach Lounge at Notoriety Live in Neonopolis at 2 p.m. on the last Sunday of every month. Comparisons with Dave Koz are on the money. Atlantic Starr’s Rachel Oliver Cobbin was his guest for the July show, with Grimm coming on Sunday.
“Chase Brown’s Vegas Country”
The energetic, telegenic country entertainer packs the hits and jumps on his Disco Ladder, completely covered in tiny mirrors. He’s in Notoriety Live’s Chandelier Room (as he should be) at 9 p.m. on Fridays.
Still to come…
A few large-scale productions planned for the Strip are on the horizon. “Bat Out of Hell – The Musical” opens Tuesday at the Théâtre de Paris. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical “Freestyle Love Supreme” opens Nov. 10 at The Venetian’s Summit Showroom. “Awakening,” the show that replaces “Le Reve” at Wynn Las Vegas, is set to open for the first time in October.
John Katsilometes’ column airs daily in Section A. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.