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Gold Dust Orphans’ "Pornocchio"

Coco Nakase ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Stage Editor

Let me preface this review with a brief warning: If you are under the age of 18 or are uncomfortable with explicit language, simulated nudity, simulated sex, unapologetic parody and/or form breaking theatre, be forewarned. This is probably (definitely) not for you.

For those of you who can at least tolerate the above, don’t miss this event. Produced in the night club Machine, Pornocchio is Ryan Landry in his zone: in-your-face, fantastical and raunchy.

Pornocchio is a bawdy take on the Disney animated film, keeping the basic plot with some hilarious twists, such as the Blue Fairy being played by a man in drag and Pornocchio (played by a woman playing a wooden boy wishing to be a real boy) is sold to Liza Minnelli’s Porno Show rather than Stromboli’s Puppet Show. Landry uses every opportunity to keep the audience on their toes, throwing at them the unexpected, such as a band stand of puppets that accompanies the Blue Fairy in a diva’s lament.

Landry borrows music from all over, from Andrew Lloyd Weber to English Rock Band “The Darkness” to supplement the script, most with hilarious new lyrics to fit the show’s story. The singing is for the most part great, but the music and sound is generally too loud, and you will most certainly suffer from temporary muffled hearing. The space, as I have mentioned, is intimate, allowing the audience to not only see the well-done-considering-the-size-of-the-theatre-and-company set in its plywood and paint glory, but also gives them a closer than perhaps was desired view of the fake genitals swinging in their face in one notable dance number. The entire performance is borderline overwhelming in its in-your-face execution; Yes, the second act drags a little and, yes, a few jokes are stale, but the quality of the actors’ performance, the overall writing and the unfiltered joy that the audience can feel radiating from the company more than makes up for the small faults.

For the entire 90 minutes of raunchy performance, I was kept on the edge of my seat, a huge grin on my face. Pornocchio embodies all the best parts of camp, drag and theatre, providing a hugely entertaining experience for those with the constitution. A note for those with a tight budget:  the tickets are a bit pricey ($35 for general seating) for a small theatre with not-so-impressive sets and there are no student discounts. However, rumor has it that half-price tickets are available at the Bos-Tix stands and other ticket sellers, so keep a look out.

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