Twiggy Fartdust and Her Nemesis from Mars

Twiggy is so earnest and performed with such fearless energy, it’s really difficult to critique. But, dear God, it just doesn’t work. Because it flops so spectacularly, it’s still exciting theater. Say that for it.

click to enlarge 'Twiggy Fartdust and Her Nemesis from Mars'
'Twiggy Fartdust and Her Nemesis from Mars'

After the final bows, I left Twiggy Fartdust and Her Nemesis from Mars right behind a small group of friends. They walked out into the pleasant summer night in sort of an unintentional silence. No one knew quite what to say, likely still processing what they had just experienced.“Well,” one of the nice young men finally concluded, “that was one show that embraced the awkward.”No, I wanted to say. This show French-kissed the awkward. Then made sweet, sweet love to it. Twiggy is so earnest and performed with such fearless energy, it’s really difficult to critique. But, dear God, it just doesn’t work. Because it flops so spectacularly, it’s still exciting theater. Say that for it.Truth is, I’m not sure how it even got produced. I have to think three bongs and a Taco Bell drive-thru had something to do with it. After a raging karaoke bender. Billed as an intergalactic Rock musical, Twiggy follows the adventures of its unfortunately named hero as she travels to Mars to rescue her girlfriend Yoshimi from her nemesis Kevin. Along the way, she’ll meet a colossal cross-dresser named Jane Fonda and a swamp witch named… Swamp Witch?Where does the Rock musical part come in? Each scene is interrupted — sometimes literally — with a karaoke song. One or more of the cast step up to the mic and throw down anything from Bowie to the Beatles, from Queen to Jefferson Airplane. Unlike other shows in the Fringe that tweak recognizable lyrics to suit the show/plot, Twiggy sticks with the originals and lets its cast sing.And therein lies the single biggest fault of the show: The karaoke performances just aren’t that good. Not bad, mind you, but certainly not good enough to pay money to see, when a dozen karaoke bars in town offer the same kind of performance for free.The script? Grossly under-written. The flow and direction? Sloppy.The comedy? You know when friends try to tell you about something really funny that happened, and they’re in stitches telling it, but you just can’t figure out what you’re missing? That’s what Twiggy feels like.It was probably hysterical when the idea was hatched. But I think perhaps you had to be there. I love the absurd, and I certainly love karaoke. But this one just doesn’t add up. Perhaps this time we should leave Twiggy on Mars.

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