Daily News Correspondent
If you want theater to wow you with climactic enlightenment, forget Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens. The human condition matters less than the condition of glitter boots in this 1995 script.
But if you consider "Climactic Enlightenment" a bomber name for a superhero or glam band, then Saucy Jack will fulfill your deepest, sauciest wishes. The campy musical about love, fame, envy and plastic fetishes tells the story of a trio of intergalactic, disco-abiding lawwomen who pursue a lowlife serial killer cleverly disguised as a cabaret owner in a fishnet shirt.
Oh darn, did I give away too much of the plot?
No way. Plot matters less than innuendo in this stepsister to bar-friendly classics like "The Rocky Horror Show." The point of Saucy Jack is to have a good time and most people did Friday night, even during lulls in the action.
What Saucy Jack lacks in thematic staying power, it makes up for in exuberance. At the 10 p.m. show at Mad Myrna's, the actors appeared smitten with the material, even at muddled moments, and the crowd went along for the ride. Love, honor and truth rose with every hip thrust; regret, despair and betrayal fell with every twirl.
All the while, the cast cooked through numbers like "All I Need is Disco" and "Space Trucking" through choreography by Leslie Ward. Few songs stood out as musically or lyrically memorable, except maybe "Fetish Number From Nowhere," featuring Dr. von Wackoff (John Fraser) and Mitch Maypole (Sheron Patrick) as they pronounce their true love of all things bubble wrap.
Todd Glidewell plays Saucy Jack with the right dose of slime and charm, while Anthony Oliva grooves and swoons as Booby Chavelle, the cross-dressing waitress and wannabe space vixen blessed with big hair and ripped thighs.
Booby would be the ideal character to guide viewers through the mayhem of dead bodies and low necklines—the Brad and Janet of Saucy Jack, if you will--but the script leaves the audience in the weeds when she vanishes from the spotlight too long. The audience gets a lot of ribald humor and plenty of songs worth dancing to, but not an up and coming space vixen with the right amount of character development to sink some heels into.
As for the space vixens, well Angela Vice, Charlotte Kopp and Jodi Hughes have a blast, for sure. Their characters don't develop as much as reveal their true selves, but they're space vixens, for gosh sakes, not ordinary people struggling with envious bosses and lousy jobs.
Whatever the flaws with the script, Saucy Jack proves that Shelly Wozniak and her theater company, Big Tree Productions, can pull off a bar-friendly musical with a lot of verve. Chairs around the stage and constant interaction with the audience kept everyone smiling. As director and producer, Wozniak proves more than capable of bringing more theater to Anchorage, but she can also belt out a tune.
As Chesty Prospects, the interplanetary smuggler who romances a space vixen before taking one to the chest, she did some of the most dynamic singing in the show. After her death scene, she spent countless minutes on her back on center stage during intermission as people straddled her, laid on her, posed by her and tried to get her to flinch, all the while taking photos.
One guy even twisted her arm, she said. Hey, go ahead and touch her, thank her, take pictures, smooch her lips if you have to, but don't start a dog pile on stage. Saucy Jack still has weeks of whimsy to go, so let it breath.
Saucy Jack continues at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through November 3 at Mad Myrna's (530 E. Fifth Ave.). Tickets cost $15 at the door or ahead of time (276-9762).