Every time I’ve gone to Brave New Workshop, I’ve left thinking that I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. And things were no different for their newest show, Booty and the Beast. Whether you have your own dating horror stories (I may have shared a couple of my own in this YouTube vid) or have heard them from friends, you’ll probably find a sketch or two in this show that doesn’t seem too far fetched.
The cast starts with their own rendition of the opening of Beauty and the Beast which is the perfect opportunity to highlight Taj Ruler’s singing voice and make the point that a woman should be allowed to be single and happy. This frustration is something I can relate to, as my mother makes odd comments like telling me I can’t move again until I’m married and that I should try to stay in a relationship even if I’m not happy. Um, ok, Mom. I appreciate that BNW isn’t afraid to call out the messed up societal expectations we place on single women, or things like the implied bestiality in Beauty and the Beast.
But of course, they do this in an intelligent, finely crafted humorous manner, so you’ll find yourself laughing but thinking, “Hey, wait a minute…” all at the same time. In one sketch, Lauren Anderson’s character tells her friend about her new app Boyflix where she can change how her boyfriend acts based on what she wants to watch on Netflix.
“Is he a sex robot or a prostitute?”
As funny as Tom Reed is as the boyfriend who changes with the click of a button, you can’t help but think about how much apps like Tinder really encourage these desires for wanting a partner who can meet our every want and need.
You’ll also learn things like what to do with a bag of fish sticks and a can do attitude, or the sexual escapades of former presidents (but that’s as political as it gets!). There’s a sketch about Denzel Belin’s real life dating stories which made me cringe and empathize all at the same time. And the Wang Finder with Ryan Nelson will have you both laughing and feeling horrified.
I immensely enjoyed their parodies on popular songs such as “Danger Zone” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” and the cast plays off of each other incredibly well. You can stick around after most shows to enjoy a bit of improv included in your ticket. They’re complemented by the technical direction of Matthew Vichlach and the musical direction of Jon Pumper.
If anyone ever tells me they’re looking for a fun suggestion for a night out, Brave New Workshop is the first thing I mention, and I hope you’ll go and enjoy it as much as I do. Booty and the Beast runs through June 24. Click here to purchase tickets.