HOT FLASH! A Summertime Hit At Falmouth Footlights!

Hot Flash Cafe

Summer 2016

No “oops” about it…The Footlights Theatre in Falmouth did it again.

Thanks to the creative collaboration of Director Michael J. Tobin and an uber talented cast that can competently and confidently control improvisations and whack live comedy silly, Footlight’s new summer show HOT FLASH! WHAT A FEELIN’! is destined to be 2016’s seasonal best-seller.

HOT FLASH! WHAT A FEELIN’! is a potpourri of fun and crazy entertainment milieus— Sitcom, talk show, variety show, game show, commercials, song parodies, stand-up comedy, improvisations—with lots of audience participation.  Billed as a hilarious new musical comedy that celebrates women, their friendships and the adventures they face in their later years, it’s a show with a lot of variations…with one gorilla of a theme:  Menopause, and all its wonderful physical and emotional symptoms that girls (and their brave men) have to deal with during this natural life transition.

HOT FLASH! WHAT A FEELIN’ comes on the heels of last summer’s highly successful run of GIRLS ONLY, a 2-character female-targeted musical-comedy-variety presentation that starred Nancy Durgin and Cheryl Reynolds.  For HOT FLASH!, the sensational Durgin-Reynolds team is reunited with the bonus appearance of the effervescent Gretchen Wood.

The selectively compiled material is customized for the audience, baked in an inferno and served up with hyper gusto and just the right amount of home-grown spices that unleash massive doses of affirmation from a very empathetic audience, yielding infinite portions of unbridled laughter.  This is not mind-bending, emotionally-challenging, avant-garde theater, folks.  This is just one big overdose of pure and simple fun for adults in search of a gut-wrenching guffaw rather than a psychoanalytical moral to the story.

It all takes place at The Hot Flash Café—“the hottest spot north of the Foreside”—where owner Nancy and her employees Cheryl and Gretchen serve the audience with flavorful stories, memories, songs.  Absent the presence of television cameras, the intimacy of this theater experience invokes the live recording of an old-time television musical-comedy variety show (think Carol Burnett, Laugh-In, even Golden Girls…on steroids).

Topping my favorite sketches are two superb segments of “The Porch Sisters,” a trio of classy, sassy Southern belles who also deliver a musical gem of “PMS Blues.”   With all the “Café Chit Chat” and “Emotional Baggage,” there’s plenty of opportunity for audience interaction but even more so with the “Name That Tune” pre-show game and the “PMS Pyramid Game Show.”

Each of these gals can sing, with perfect delivery and no lack of animation, so the interspersed parodies are a great addition to the buffet:  “Hot Flash!,” My Favorite Things,” “AARP,” and “Memory” a solo by Nancy.

In my years of reviewing local theater, I have never been disappointed with the depth and consistency of these ladies’ individual stage skills…but combined in one cast they are a delightful, masterful tour de force, a bundle of high-voltage talent you don’t want to mess around with and you certainly don’t want to miss.

HOT FLASH! WHAT A FEELIN’ is running now through August 18th, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 PM.  The Footlights Theatre is located at 190 US Route 1, Falmouth.  For tix and info, contact 207/747-5434 or visit www.thefootlightsinfalmouth.com.

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–Louis Philippe

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