The Fabulous Kane Sisters in BOX OFFICE POISON
nytheatre.com review by Nancy Kim
August 13, 2008
When a number of headliners at Pilkington's Promenade in Pocatello, Idaho are found dead on the premises, proprietor Pice Pilkington seems more concerned about booking the next main attraction than finding the murderer. Nonetheless, the Kane Sisters, a gorgeous pair of identical twins with a burlesque act, are sent over by their agent without much advance warning. A kooky ensemble of third-rate variety acts are possible suspects until they, too, start dropping in this campy, fast talking, pun-overloading, gender-bending, flesh-exposing mystery comedy.
Marc Geller and Bill Roulet are the writers as well as the aforementioned Kane Sisters (Geller also takes on directing duties, making him a triple threat in this production). As Lana Kane, Geller is tall, lean, and attractive; while Roulet is not quite any of those things—picture Danny DeVito in a dress—as Nova Kane (character names are not spared from the many puns). Despite the physical differences, the rest of the characters continually remark on the uncanny resemblance of the sisters and will misidentify them throughout the show for the audience's amusement. And while Nova is sweet and dim, Lana is dry with pitch perfect deadpan delivery. Many of the best lines in the show go to Geller, who inserts enjoyably groan-inducing sexual innuendos at almost every opportunity.
The rest of the company, though, do have their moments, including an all too familiar husband-and-wife Shakespearean couple (Patrick McCarthy and Sheila Stasack) who give us an unfortunate scene from Romeo and Juliet. Also, gold-digging Pansy and fitness instructor Buster Hyman (say this full name out loud), performed by Marta Reiman and David A. Rudd, are physical comedy wonders. The cast also looks great in Jennifer Kirschman's costumes.
A small bit of choreography in one scene and the outlandish unveiling of the murderer contribute some of the burlesque aspects. In a future reincarnation of the production—there should be one for sure—it would be wonderful to ante up the sexiness with some more of the burlesque, because Geller moves like a dream.