SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody brings sex, sass, and Batman to Mill City Nights

Categories: Theater
Spank50shadescollage.jpg
If you wander down North Fifth Street any evening this week, you're likely to be greeted with the sweet smells of chardonnay, perfume, and sass coming out of Mill City Nights.

SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody opened last night, and runs through this Saturday. Having had no previous knowledge of the Fifty Shades novels, except that they're Twilight fan fiction-turned-lady porn, I had no real expectation for what the three-person musical had in store. Luckily, the show doesn't rely entirely on in-the-know references that only fans will understand, but instead mixes in a fantastic blend of pop culture and fourth-wall breaking winks to the absurdity of the story itself.

Admittedly, it was pretty funny. Bro-card: revoked.
The show has been a smash hit with audiences across the U.S., Canada, and Australia, proving that vag jokes are funny no matter where you live. The same can be said for Minnesota, as the Friday and Saturday night shows are already sold out.

Much like it's completely unauthorized inspiration, the play follows billionaire Hugh Hanson as he leads the sweet, sexually naïve Tasha Woode into a world of kink, domination, and Batman (SPOILER: BATMAN TWERKS!).

The real scene stealer, however, is the show's narrator and "author," E.B. Janet, played by Amanda Barker. Watching Janet skew Fifty Shades creator E.L. James's perceptions, and the process that went into writing the insanely popular lady-smut novels, is hilarious both for fans and detractors alike. The characters calling James out on her absurd and unrealistic views on sex, romance, and relationships probably mirror some of the things readers shouted into their books and Kindles while reading the series.


Last night, the overwhelmingly female audience went wild for every Jane Austen, blowjob, and chardonnay reference, but even the nine dudes in attendance genuinely LOL'd at Hugh doing the most XXX version of "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ever heard. In addition, a hat tip is owed to the cast for doing their homework about the local stereotypes of Minnesota, with spot-on nods to the kind of folks you'll find in Edina, Bloomington, and everywhere in between. There's an element of audience interaction as well, and listening to uncomfortable dudes chatting up the innocent Tasha is worth the price of admission itself.

Whether you're a fan of BDSM, pop music, or wildly stereotypical portrayals of Mexican dudes (that part of the show went totally over this reviewer's head), SPANK! may just be the perfect ladies' night out (guys can come too, but this is your equivalent of making your boo watch the Vikings every Sunday).

Personal Bias: I went in expecting a bunch boozed up, hollering ladies who were ready to "WOO!" it up at every sex reference thrown their way. They didn't disappoint, which made the show that much more fun.

Overheard In the Crowd: "Please put your cell phones on VIBRATE." (Followed by a lot of "WOO!ing.")

The Crowd: A few hundred ladies in their best glittery tops and heels, and nine dudes in short sleeve plaid button-ups looking uncomfortable as hell.

IF YOU GO:

SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody
September 25-28
Mill City Nights
111 N. 5th St., Minneapolis

Location Info

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Mill City Nights

111 N. 5th St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Music


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