Mike Price. Photo: The Alley Theater.
Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens
Book and Lyrics by Charlotte Mann and Michael Fidler
Music by Johnathan Croose and Robin Forrest
Directed by Joey Arena
A review by Kate Barry
Entire contents are copyright © 2018 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.
Louisville’s theater scene was hit with some bad news this summer: The Alley Theater will be closing its doors once and for all in August. The good news is their remaining productions reflect practically everything that is wild and wonderful about the Alley and how they kept Louisville’s theater scene weird. Ending with a revival of Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, The Alley Theater delivers a show with that same offbeat and defiant gusto that made the company stand apart for so long.
With musical numbers like “Vulva’s Tango,” “All I Need is Disco,” and “Plastic, Leather, and Love,” raunchy escapades await you in the seedy nightspot on Planet Frottage III. The production embraces the B-movie aesthetic as intergalactic characters are adorned with googly eyes, glitter, leather, bubble wrap, and anything else you can imagine. The ensemble embraces the spirit of the outer space romp as they attempt to grasp the scenery-chewing melodrama and belt the high notes of this sparkling score. Where some performers were more fleshed out and vocally stronger than others, the company never lost sight of the shining and shimmery action.
Saucy Jack is the slimy cabaret owner with a dark secret and Mike R. Price relishes in his outlandish murders. Price’s rendition of “Tortured Play Thing” was a highlight of the show. Now let’s talk about those space vixens. Jubilee Climax (Jennifer Riddle), Bunny Lingus (Magnolia Hensley), and Anna Labia (Jori Calland) are feminist superheroes and “hot, ball busting” babes strapped into impressive glitter boots. Riddle’s Jubilee has alpha prowess and magnitude while Hensley’s emotional Bunny is second in command. Hensley shows off some nice comedic chops in the second act with “Bunny’s Lament” which paired nicely with the happy-go-lucky ensemble number “Cheer up Bunny.” Hensley shares sexual magnetism with Chesty Prospects, played with flirtatious gusto by Teri Carlson. Calland’s Anna Labia brings out the softer side of the vixens with her wide-eyed crush on Sammy and pursuit of justice.
The resident players of the Alley Theater step up and have some fun in the cabaret from outer space. Spencer Korcz milks the saxophone-blowing moments as Sammy Sax, bashful and hopeful as a young alien who just wants to make it big. Riker Hill strived to find bigger comedic moments as Booby Chevelle, the southern belle in the big new planet. Where Hill seemed to rely on the identity and costume choices of the character for laughs, perhaps more time could have been placed on punchlines and timing. As meathead bartender hunk Mitch Maypole, Jesse Abraham Patrick flings drinks with sight gags while building some underlying sexual tension with the narrator, Dr. Van Wackoff, played by Joey Arena. I extend kudos to Arena for sliding into the boots and goggles of this character at the last minute, providing a most impressive German accent on top of directing the show.
Blending the camp of disco with the kitsch of science fiction B-movies, this tongue and cheek musical never takes itself too seriously. Not for those who blush easily, the Alley pieced together a play that allows their freak flag to fly once more before they dim those house lights one last time.
Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens
June 14-30 @ 8:00pm
The Alley Theater
633 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Kate Barry earned her Bachelors in English with a Theater minor from Bellarmine University in 2008. She has worked with many different companies around town including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theater, Louisville Repertory Company, Walden Theater, Finnigan Productions and you have probably purchased tickets from her at that little performing arts center on Main Street as well. In 2012, her short play “PlayList” won festival favorite in the Finnigan Festival of Funky Fresh Fun. She has written for LEO Weekly and TheatreLouisville.com as well. Thanks for reading!