Los Angeles Theater Review: THE REAL DRUNK HOUSEWIVES OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY (The Complex in Hollywood)

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by Sarah Taylor Ellis on August 6, 2012

in Theater-Los Angeles

BRING ON THE BOTOX

Fans of reality television, rejoice! The Real Drunk Housewives of the San Fernando Valley has just hit the stage – live and in person, sloshed and singing. While this new musical parody could use a facelift here and there, The Real Drunk Housewives is shaping up to be a fun evening’s entertainment.

With book, music and lyrics by Kelly Holden-Bashar (Fellowship!) and Bill Haller, The Real Drunk Housewives unites a fictional cast of Bravo’s famed reality TV show to rehash the adventures of the past season. Fabulous reunion host Randy (the quippy and charismatic Chris Caldwell Eckert) leads these cleverly caricatured ladies on a walk down memory lane, and each housewife relishes her turn in the spotlight. Leah Mangum (Rene), Jen Rhonheimer (Pepsi), Sarah French (Trudy / Riley), Ana Cristina (Olivia), and Robyn Roth (Rikki) make for a fierce ensemble, belting their way to fame. (After all, they already have the fortune.)

Sarah Taylor Ellis' Stage and Cinema L.A. review of THE REAL DRUNK HOUSEWIVES

While David Jahn’s direction could use some tightening and a few book scenes currently fall flat, the music amps up this deliciously silly drama. From Rene’s sex addiction to Pepsi’s pursuit of “Big Money,” each quirk of the ritzy SFV lifestyle is spoofed in song. The choruses sometimes get repetitive, but this musical’s pop and hip-hop pastiche score is undeniably catchy. Jeffrey Polk’s simple and effective choreography caters to the distinctive characters of each high-heeled housewife.

Sarah Taylor Ellis' Stage and Cinema L.A. review of THE REAL DRUNK HOUSEWIVES

In particular, tipsy former child star Rikki (Robyn Roth) deserves her own spin-off show. Tripping across the stage with a champagne glass in hand, stumbling over her words, and continually losing her train of thought, Roth’s bold character choices and impeccable comedic timing inject a great deal of improvisatory life into the show.

This creative team has the smarts and the set-up to make The Real Drunk Housewives of San Fernando Valley a more provocative look at our guilty pleasures, but for now, this musical romp playfully partakes in the pop culture phenomenon. Fans will undoubtedly raise a glass and drink to that.

photos by David P. Smith

The Real Drunk Housewives of the San Fernando Valley
Oh My Ribs! Entertainment
The Complex in Hollywood
ends on August 25, 2012
for tickets, visit Real Drunk Housewives

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