Purim Megi-la-la-la @ WBT Westside

OMG, what could be a bettah treat than a Purim Shalach Manot, than watching my four favorite songstresses/comediennes performing a spiel on my favorite show, entitled “The Marvelous Mrs. Shulshan.” Shelly Goldstein, Rena Strober, Monica Piper, and Wendy Hammers were superb in putting ‘the Purr into Purim, and the hum into Hamantaschen.’ May their successes multiply like the poppy seeds in these Purim delicacies.
The show opened to original, delightful lyrics in “I’m in a Purim State of Mind,” setting the mood for whimsy and frolic. One stand up comic, David Zasloff, took the stage, stating “I believe in Transcendental hesitation, or Zen Judaism, where you live in the moment, but wait, that’s not enough time!” With this kind of laugh a minute schtick, the audience was in for a rip roaring evening. To start off, Wendy Hammers, as a most credible Rose Weissman, took the stage and ‘made such a Megillah.’ Monica Piper was a sweet, yet assertive Vashti, the biblical feminist who said an emphatic NO to dancing before the king in only her royal crown; she, perhaps the original founder of the Me Too movement. So where did she end up? “Dinner theatre in La Cage, with other old queens.” A stand out number by Goldstein and Strober (Zeresh and Esther) was “All That Scmaltz,” a creative parody sung to All that Jazz showtune. Their voices were so strong and magnificent, that they would surely win “Shushan’s Got Talent,” or “Persian Idol.” Wendy Hammers shot out one liners like “not J Lo, but Jew-lo; not Beyoncé but Beyonc-oy, and how NYU is an acronym for ‘Now You’re Unemployed.” Shelly Goldstein, as Zeresh (a female version of villain Haman) quipped, “I’m not the Red Sea, you don’t want to cross me,” while the enchanting heroine of our story, Rena Strober, as Esther (Miriam Maisel), belted her heart out and proudly exclaimed, “A chance to save my people and have a holiday in my honor, where people get drunk, shake noisemakers, and wear masks!” No talent was hidden in these festivities, as the audience wined, dined, and laughed, as if truly at a royal banquet. The last laugh, of course was on Haman (Zeresh, doomed to a dreary fate being hung at the gallows. And perhaps the most raunchy moment of all, is when Monica Piper said, “I haven’t said Haman yet… no one likes a premature Grogger or royal sceptre!” To end the show, the audience joined in to a rollicking sing along to “there’s few stories like Jew stories…. we thrive when we’ve got woe…back when Queen Esther figured she should ask the king…. the cantors, the costumes, the tales at Sinai, the way that we stay cheerful when we fast..” all sung to the tune of “there’s no business like show business.” Credits for the song lyrics go to the remarkable Jerram Schwartz Rabbi Susan Nanus.


About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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