As superheroes dominate big screens around the world, a bawdy bunch of bionic thespians have taken the stage over at the Ramrod Center for the Performing Arts! Meet THE EBONIC WOMAN a new musical comic book farce loaded with social commentary and satiric sass from Ryan Landry and his unstoppable GOLD DUST ORPHANS. This is their last gasp production at Machine, before it’s reconfigured by developers. We’ll see if the orphans find a home there after the dust has settled; they deserve it.
Back to the plot! The city of Lynn, Mass finds itself mired in mud as machiavellian Mayor “Ivy League” (director Kiki Samko! ), following precedent, angles for higher office. In a fantasy I am utterly on board with, the imprisoned imPOTUS Donald J. Trump has been stewing in his own slime for a decade. IF ONLY. Meanwhile, Dr. Hennessey Brown is hard at work in her lab concocting a formula to end racism, which when imbibed makes everyone colorblind! The elixir of course, is called, “Harmony,” and it’s the perfect antidote to everything the orange one spews.
Through a series of diabolically twisted plot contrivances, Trump re-emerges as an even eviler arch villain called “BALD EAGLE.” With bare belly hanging low over yellow tights, he now sports wings and a beak replacing a head full of hay. His plan is nuanced and cagey (cages are his specialty) involving a gated community called “Operation Kill Everyone.” Tim Lawton (also the music director) has completely abandoned himself to his twin evil personas here, with a voice to rattle the rafters and the powerless populace.
Just in time, Hennessey overdoses on Harmony and is transformed into a freakin’ female superhero with a bod for business and a voice to shatter glass ceilings. It’s “The Ebonic Woman” ready to battle Bald Eagle and every bit of bigotry and divisiveness he stands for. Qya Marie is woman enough to overflow her dual role, and is gorgeous in superhero Schiaparelli pink spandex, funky afro and Solid Gold boots.
Cartoon-colored sets, costumes, and lighting, non-stop music and direction, and no holds barred performances by a veteran cast of elite castaways are as fleet, funny and original as we’ve come to expect from this stellar troupe over the 22 years they’ve trod the boards at Machine. They dare to speak what we think but don’t say, and they do it with flair and ferocious commitment. The musical mashups, the puppets and puns, the nudity and nuns, and always with a point of view that is wild and fun, inclusive AND politically incorrect.
Ryan Landry as sweet Aunt Gemini Brown was unusually demure this time around, with a tinge of bittersweet bravado as she sang a winsome tune and drew the curtain on the final show at MACHINE. (To be continued….
Must See THE EBONIC WOMAN and get ready to laugh your pants off (bring an extra pair) before it ends on May 26th!!!