Stage Review: Octomom! The Musical
Economic strife. Women having children they can’t support. What could be funnier? I mean, really, a woman having eight kids when she already has more than she can handle while “Bernie Made-off” screws over some of the wealthiest people in the country is just too darn comical, right? Add some music and you’ve got yourself an uproarious production by Chris Voltaire: Octomom! The Musical. Even the title is titillating.
Hosted by the Fake Gallery, one of the most interesting spaces I’ve ever seen a play performed, the production lasted only an hour, enough time to get the crowd, including myself, roaring at the absurdity of today’s society. The space: a huge gallery, the walls covered in eye-opening, brightly-colored paintings from floor to ceiling on both the first and second floors. In the middle of the art and spectacle a stage was erected for silliness, sarcasm and…big boobies, I mean, babies.
Starting from October 2007 and going all the way through today, from Bernie Made-off’s (played by John Combs) ability to swindle and steal, to OctoMom’s (played by Molly McCook) birth of eight children that she uses to gain American Idol status, the parody was engaging, fun and fantastic. With only a stage and sparse lighting the eight-member cast, all with a spectacular set of pipes, sang their way through two years of idiocracy. While the play took serious liberties with facts, turning it into “fiction”, the fact remains that some of this stuff really happened. A woman really did give birth to eight kids, knowing (well, we think knowing) that she really couldn’t support them, given she already had a brood of six back home. And Berie Madoff with his ever so “ingenious” ponzi scheme stole millions of dollars and screwed over lots of so-called, smart, wealthy people. Bet they’re feeling smart now.
Other notable mentions are of course the play’s creator Chris Voltaire who could direct, write, then sing and act with the rest of them – he brought a few tears of laughter to my eyes. Dinora Walcott, in my opinion, was one of the best singers around. She played “reality”, and she sang a song with a wonderful hip hop/pop feel that ran throughout the play. Finally, I want to note that Blake Hogue was not only multi-faceted in this play (he played something like five characters in less than hour) but was adorable and added the most humor, in my humble opinion, to the already riotous show.
The scenes lasted no longer than five minutes (the perfect length) and contained songs that were rhythmic and melodically enjoyable, with lyrics that were witty, kitschy, at times childish and stupid, but always entertaining. In all honesty I was pleased to hear that the play was only an hour… how long can you really joke about a woman giving birth to eight kids?
Sold out every night that it has been showing, the play is a success – not because it’s clever, simplistic and entertaining (though obviously it is all those things) but because it speaks some underlying truth about human nature and Americans. We are kind of lame, we do want things to distract us from our sorrowful state, and we’ll look to just about anyone, including a dumb woman with bad plastic surgery who thought kids were the answer to her sad state, to make our lives seems just a little better.
Octomom! The Musical
Saturdays 8 and 10pm @ Fake Gallery
Extended through the end of August
$19.99 in advance; $29.99 at the door