Since 2002, comedy troupe The Gay Mafia has been dishing out their special brand of homocentric comedy for audience straight and queer alike. In their latest sketch show “The Gay Mafia: Nu-Queer”, the material is outrageous as ever and outright fun. The comic company consists of writer and comedians who seem determined to leave no topic undisturbed or any joke unturned.
The Mafia touches on popular family matters as related to the every day gay person. “The Rub” is a sketch that has a straight couple (Mike Player, Nancy Kissam) trying to keep the fact that their male friends (Alex Garner, Mark Rakow) are gay partners. It’s a fun classic situation that takes a turn for the naughty. Well done.
“Menses Minstrels” poke fun at the partner-trading, acoustic harmonizing, cycle synchronized stereotype of the Birkenstock lesbian. Starr Ahrens, Nancy Kissam and Dianan Yanez punctuate every punch line with strumming and harmonies that would make the Indigo Girls proud.
We take a turn towards the queer and unusual with a few sketches that I took particular guilty pleasure in laughing at. Kurt Hall and Allie Rivenbank ran onto stage, wearing helmets and pumped up as “Team Queer”, ready to lead the latest non-violent violence rally.
For me, the most provocative character of the night was “Margaret Tremont Forrester” (Nancy Kissam). Once wheeled onto stage by her male nurse, the lively no-limbed Brit launched into a bright monologue about how she lost each limb in connection with a Lesbian escapade. Truly morbid, but hilarious. It’s amazing how a cheerful disposition and a British accent can even make a quadruple amputee funny. Of course the site gag of a woman stuffed limbless into a shirt, drawn on a wagon helps.
Alongside the “Margaret Tremont Forrester” bit was the “Oh My God!” sketch. Imagine the conversation between Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, if Paris randomly mistook a cute girl for a cute guy. Starr Ahrens does exactly that, playing out the “what if” with Kissam. It is pure joy to watch the duo travel down the horrifying possibility of lesbian-hood. All because she saw girl and thought it was a cute guy.
What would a sketch show be without musical numbers? The cast, with the help of Mark Rakow and choreographer Roger Fojas, delivers a rousing “You’re My Top” at the top of the show. Very nice flip of the lyric. The show closes just as strong with Lisp & the Homosexuelves (Hall, Rivenbank & Yanez) performing the rap favorite “Santa Claus is a Ho Ho Ho.”
“The Gay Mafia: Nu-Queer Winter” is sketch comedy in the spirit of SNL, offbeat, irreverent, in your face funny. There are precious few misfires in this show and the cast does not miss a beat rotating costumes and characters in the small black box theater space.
I had my hand over my mouth the entire time, more surprised than outraged by the antics on stage. But this is not an arena to be offended on behalf of the po’ oppressed gay folk. This is a show that celebrates diversity within its own community fearlessly, yet lovely. All are welcome. Moreover, all are invited, encouraged to laugh with them.
“The Gay Mafia: Nu-Queer Winter” is currently running Wednesday nights for a limited six week engagement at the Lounge Theater.
December: 12/5, 12/12, 12/19
January: 1/9, 1/16, 1/23
Performances are at 8:00 p.m.
Ticket prices are $10.
For tickets or additional information, please call (323) 634-2820 or visit www.thegaymafia.net