"50 Shades!: The Musical" is bleak and humorless



Perez Hilton called it “HIGHlariously hawt!” and The Chicago Tribune said it was “very funny.” They must have seen a different production than the one I witnessed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles because it was 50 shades of bad. When going to LA, one could expect to see sex toys, men in tight outfits, and women who have had too much alcohol—in a good light. However, it was not a pretty sight. My understanding of a parody and according to the dictionary is, “A humorous or satirical imitation of literature,” but as a fan of the trilogy I took offense to it.

The only creative twist the musical had was satisfying the clique about mid-aged housewives reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” in their book club while getting sexually aroused from the “porn.”

First and foremost, the acting, if you would call it that, was overdramatic and corny like a bad high school musical with fewer props. The actors were understandingly unattractive seeing as it was a parody of the real characters yet unrepresentative of the real characters in the least.

Anastasia Steele’s character wore a polka dot dress throughout the play while acting like a grade student. Katherine, Anastasia’s roommate was portrayed as a drunk sex-a-holic, and Jose, Anastasia’s friend was portrayed as a walking, talking Mexican stereotype.

Even for a religious reader of the book, it was confusing to decipher which characters were who.

Most importantly, Christian Grey who in the book is the “perfect” man, this Mr. Grey was overweight and hairy. At one point, this Christian danced around in a non-existent spandex outfit while humping the air, dripping sweat and picking his belly button. Not the Christian Grey I had expected.

The only characters that had a few shades of grey were the burlesque dancers reflecting Christian’s and Anastasia’s inner god and goddess who danced sexually with each other on the side of the stage.

Towards the end of the non-humorous musical, Anastasia’s character said, “This is real life, it isn’t a book. If it was, it would be terrible,” however, she should have said, “This is real life, it isn’t our musical. If it was, it would be terrible.”

"50 Shades!" will run every Tuesday through Sunday until March 30th.