Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I believe in Mother Eve

My friend Val took me to see MOTHER EVE'S SECRET GARDEN OF SENSUAL SISTERHOOD on Sunday, and I went mainly because it's been awhile since I saw Val and wanted to catch up with her. I did not have my hopes up - after all, this was a Fringe Festival show, and I had never seen a Fringe Festival show that I didn't loathe.

Well I was pleasantly surprised. This show was actually good. I have some problems with the book, but over all a fun, funny musical. Not only did I not hate it, I actually LOL'd in several places.

Granted I was the only one in the audience who laughed when they have one of the characters quote a line from cult-crap movie The Room - "Lisa, you're tearing me apart!" but still, there were plenty of other communal laughs.

Apparently they did the Midtown International Theatre Festival last year - and also, lo and behold, a web series even before that. Presumably it's gotten better each time.

But they need to fix the book, and I know how - (SPOILER)

- they need to put the reporter's come to Jesus moment (come to Mother Eve moment) after the Mother Eve expose scene. That way we don't already know that the reporter knows she's wrong, and then after the come to Jesus scene we can go right to the scene where the reporter saves Mother Eve - and they can drop the well-written but superfluous number, a space-filler in a meta-NAME OF SHOW-esque mode. Or rather we can go right to the scene after the reporter has a big show-stopping number called either "The Sensual Power of the Irrational" or "I Believe in Mother Eve."

Now the reason they don't do it in that order is because the reporter uses the Mother Eve aphorisms to help her boss figure out how to deal with his wife and then because the boss is happy, that gives her the go-ahead to publish the expose on Mother Eve. But it's not worth it - the important part of that scene is the reporter's Mother Eve training kicking in and to her amazement, it's effective - and that only works right after the reporter has done the damage and thinks she's triumphed over Mother Eve. It's much more dramatic that way. They don't need the issue of getting her story published as a plot point. Really the scenes with the reporter and her boss need to be fleshed out more anyway - they're pretty throw-away right now.

And they need to integrate the reporter character into the earlier scenes better. She's so obviously not a part of the Mother Eve group - she's a very bad under-cover reporter. She doesn't even sing until the end of the show, which is just wrong for a musical - she can sing unwillingly and without enthusiasm during the Mother Eve scenes, but she should at least sing - then her big show-stopping come to Jesus moment will feel right.

Not that anybody's going to listen to me.

Anyway, it is a good time as-is and many of the lyrics are quite witty and most of the tunes are very good as well. If you only go to one Fringe show, see this one.