IMHO, “Little Black Dress” (aka LBD), is a show that is perfect for GNOs and fans of raunchy improv humor. A combination of original songs, audience participation, improv, and a smidgen of drama, the brand new musical is in search of a wider audience.
Written by predominantly women, the show hits the mark on many topics that will resonate with women of all ages, and even some men. From the first kiss to the first sexual encounter, job interviews, proposals, and eventually funerals, the LBD has played an essential part in many lives.
In a nutshell, the story centers on best friends Dee (Danielle Trzcinski) and Mandy (Jennette Cronk), who at age 13 pledge to be BFFs for life and to take a dream trip to “Paree!” when they grow up. When Dee’s mom (Jenna Cormey) takes the girls to a boutique to find dresses for their upcoming school dance, they are introduced to and fall in love with the LBD.
The rest of the show covers the progression of time where the two women’s’ futures diverge, but they hang on to their friendship despite many setbacks. Dee marries Mark (Clint Hromsco) and has a baby girl Madison, while Mandy remains defiantly single as she forges her own path in life.
There are times in the show where the actors call on audience members to share their own memories of first kisses and bachelorette parties, which leads to some unexpected shenanigans. The night I went, one woman was so startlingly raunchy that the performers struggled to keep a straight face during the “A Night You’ll Never Forget” number. There is always a risk in improvised segments, as they can often slow a showdown, but again the ladies (and gentleman) had it under semi-control. LOL.
The set is simple (perfect for roadshows and local theater companies), the LBDs could have been a tad more stylish, and some of the choreography and staging was a little dodgy. Still, overall, it charmed the audience who gave the performers a rousing, well-deserved ovation at evening’s end.
Kudos to all the talented folks who brought LBD to life, including creators Amanda Barker, Natalie Tenenbaum, Danielle Trzcinski, and Christopher Bond, who also directed.
“Little Black Dress” is at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City until December 15 only, so to avoid FOMO, hustle on down and buy your seats ASAP at www.centertheatregroup.org. TTFN!