No Big Whoop
BY Brandon Voss
March 30 2009 12:00 AM ET
Before the reading
resumed, show queens got a tasty treat when Roma Torre and
Donna Karger, television reporters from local cable channel
NY1's theater-centric program
, joined each other on the Town Hall stage to feign their own
off-stage rivalry. Karger: "You hideous pig." Torre:
"Thank you, Donna, you c-word, you."
In a stroke of
metatheatrical genius, Torre then read her fake review of the
reading thus far before the ladies extolled the charitable
virtues of Friends In Deed. At her suggestion that
might find future life on a legitimate New York stage, Torre
was met not with applause but with tepid
There was some brief
business at the start of act 2 with a policeman played by tall
drink of water Todd DuBail. Former
cover boy Cheyenne Jackson had originally committed to the
small role but bowed out of the benefit just days before due to
a scheduling conflict. "This guy damn well better strip
too," said Waldorf. Alas, he did not.
Because it's just that
kind of a play, Sylvia and Leatrice accidentally scarfed down
some hash brownies, which set the loopy tone for the remainder
of the evening. "Do you think we might behave like Whitney
Houston?" asked Leatrice on discovering the snack's
secret ingredient. Hell to the no, but the setup did allow
Lypsinka to stop the show in spotlight with a fantasy
lip-synched performance for which she's famous. I
wasn't familiar with the song, but suffice it to say that
both Statler and Waldorf hummed along.
Before long, Batt's
producer Martin reappeared to seal the deal on the
play-within-a-play and wound up popping a few brownies himself.
What followed was an epic exercise in mugging and physical
comedy. "I kind of hope someone's cell phone
rings," said Statler about three minutes into the
Then came the part in
the show where the actors pretend to screw up the lines, break
character, and laugh at their flub, thus tickling the audience.
"Sylvia, let's do the play," said Busch, reading
Leatrice's line in error.
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