Writer: Chris Harder
Director: Chris Harder
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
Mystery, intrigue, and innuendo abound at the Laurie Beechman in Chris Harder’s Nasty Drew and that Harder Boy: The Case of the Peepshow Phantom. Mixing narrative theatre, burlesque, and drag into one high-camp cocktail of sexy disco brilliance against a 1970s backdrop, this show delivers laughs and lasciviousness in equal measure.
The cast’s total commitment to high-camp retro comedy is astounding. Chris Harder (That Harder Boy) and Nasty Canasta(Nasty Drew) lead a fantastic cast including Pearls Daily (Lucinda Embers), Bootsie LeFaris (Tootsie Pop), Roi King (Hot Rodney), and Johnny Velour (The Xanadude). As the teen detectives Nasty Drew and That Harder Boy work to uncover the identity of the peep show phantom, each member of the cast gets their own solo act in the form of burlesque, drag, or dance. These moments stand out as uniqueand also serve to drive the plot forward. Live-action commercials for sponsors ad to the feeling of ’70s mystery shows. The dramaturgical balance of plot and spectacle is perfection, and the innuendo is brilliant.
The Case of the Peepshow Phantom is a hauntingly good production, with every detail carefully honed. Harder has managed to fold a love letter to the Times Square of yesteryear into the piece, calling into focus the commercialization of the area today, but all with such humor that it never feels didactic. The show titillates and tickles, and is absolutely worth a trip to the Times Square of today.
Runs until 21 October 2016 | Image: Contributed