REVIEW: Dead Broads Yapping @ The Public House Theatre

A Struggle From Beyond The Grave.

Dead Broads YappingDead Broads Yapping,” now playing at The Public House Theatre, is an original idea that could use a few tweaks in execution. I’m always interested in shows with a new spin, but as with any creation, there are a few foundational nuts and bolts that need to be locked in place before we start adding more layers.

Marie Maloney, Courtney Crary and Caroline Nash become Jackie Kennedy, Joan of Arc and Amelia Earhart, respectively. There is no clear connection as to why these three ladies were chosen, but nonetheless, they are the stars of “Dead Broads Yapping,” a talk-show style production with weekly historical guests.

Each broad took a segment of expertise. Jackie took fashion, “Jackie Oh No’s,” Amelia took “What’s Flying Off The Shelves,” and Joan of Arc hosted “Bless Them or Burn Them.” With the exception of Jackie Kennedy fashion flashbacks and Marilyn Monroe jabs, the majority of the content in these three segments was based on current pop culture. I like the idea of tying historical data to modern pop culture references, but the execution felt like two dead wires, waiting for a spark to connect or ignite them. Sex and the City and Gilmore Girl references felt like surface-level parallels, whereas I felt that a show so heavily routed in history should have deeper connections.

The guests. Opening night, the theme was “innovation” and the guests were Ben Larrison as Eli Whitney and Chelsea Norment as Mark Twain.  I’m not sure if these are improvised or scripted characters, but I quickly became frustrated when Larrison’s response to question after question was the delusional stutter “I invented the cotton gin.” However, as far as I’m concerned, the single greatest highlight of this entire show was Chelsea Norment as Mark Twain (which is unfortunate, as she will not be making future appearances). She seemed to be the only actor that took command of her character and played every line with vibrance and confidence. If there was one glaringly obvious faux pas, it was that not one character was confident or comfortable enough in their words or actions which made it difficult to take the show as seriously as I wanted. Furthermore, as an audience member, it was uncomfortable to watch. To be fair, this was opening night, but to also be fair, that is my honest observation.

Last, but not least, the show wraps up with a “hunger games” reference, which is code for an eating contest. An audience member faces off with Teddy Roosevelt (played by Keenan Camp), the producer of the show, to see who can eat five powdered donuts the fastest. Needless to say, it was not pleasant to watch but the winner did win an electric griddle – the second highlight of the show. After that, the show closes with a “Dead Broads Yapping” jingle and that’s a wrap.

I think I understand what the outline of the show was intended to be, but the actual content could use some massaging. This show has a lot of potential and the ladies did a nice job marketing, I just wish the end product had a more logical flow, genuine delivery and direct correlation. It’s evident that a significant amount of historical research was necessary to put on this show, so for that I commend the cast. I did appreciate the attempt at an educational opportunity.

“Dead Broads Yapping” is playing at Public House Theatre Thursday nights at 8pm until February 27th. Purchase tickets here

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posted on by Kiley Peters posted in Chatter, Reviews

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