- CHARITY BENEFIT
I laughed for an hour and half at the stupidest jokes, done by an extremely talented cast and couldn’t wait to recommend it to my girls on the prowl especially the New Jersey contingency. “Cougar the Musical” may not be for everybody, but women who are approaching the over 40 mark will howl at this ode to female empowerment. I knew those women on stage and it may be cliché, but it’s cliché because it hits home. This is the perfect girl’s night out, where silliness and fun are the name of the game – not substance.
I should have started out with a cougartini (pomegranate juice and vanilla vodka) and as the show puts it “ the antioxidants will keep you feeling young and the vodka will help you forget that you’re not.”
For those who do not know the definition of “cougar” think any romance staring Cher, Madonna or Demi, before the break-up. That’s right; it’s women acting like men only we have been labeled and now, thanks to “Cougar the Musical,” we can laugh about it.
The musical opens with Lily (Catherine Porter), Clarity (Brenda Braxton), and Mary-Marie (Babs Winn) meowing, purring, growling and prowling. Mary-Marie is a southern widow who now owns a cougar bar. She empowers herself with affirmations, as well as encourages women to be powerful and lose those inhibitions. Lily is going through a divorce for the second time after giving her husband everything and taking nothing for herself. Like the little girl trapped inside, she makes her living playing Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz” at kiddie parties. Then there is Clarity an investment banker who is quitting her job to pursue a career in women’s studies. She starts out trying to write a thesis about these women who “prey on younger men” and ends up becoming one. Danny Bernardy is all the men, and in one hysterical scene a Hispanic female nail technician.
I loved director/choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s direction but mostly her terrific choreography which is almost a character in itself. Catherine Porter’s vocals are glorious especially the sensitive “Gary’s Right,” Brenda Braxton entertains and Babs Winn had me laughing so hard I was crying. Donna Moore wrote the book, lyrics and the music and I was thoroughly entertained. Additional music was contributed by Mark Barkan, John Baxindine, Arnie Gross, Meryl Leppard, and Seth Lefferts. Nothing here is going to win a Tony but if you need or want to laugh and thoroughly enjoy yourself “Cougar the Musical” is for you.
My weekend was filled with strife so the fact that something, anything involving women could have me laughing so hard I was crying, I can recommend. See critic purring!
Cougar the Musical at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 W. 46th Street Wed. and Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. 2 p.m.