Theater review: ‘Streep Tease’ at Bang Comedy Theater
One doesn’t typically associate Meryl Streep with high camp. Unlike stars such as Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn, larger-than-life personalities whose accents are so readily imitated, Streep’s chameleon-like quality and facility for dialect have largely defied parody.
Until now. “Streep Tease: An Evening of Meryl Streep Monologues Performed by an All-Male Cast,” now playing to turn-away crowds at the Bang Comedy Theater, has obviously struck a chord in the universal camp consciousness. Credit for this offbeat premise goes to creator Roy Cruz, who opens the show as Miranda Priestley from “The Devil Wears Prada” as well as performing the patter between scenes.
The interstitial segments are necessarily impromptu in nature, involving as they do volunteers from the audience who answer questions about Streep for fun and prizes. However, Cruz’s prosaic commentary could use a few more scripted laughs.
Of course, if you haven’t seen all of the films in question, some of the humor might whiz over your head. However, this brisk, hour-long sampling of Streep’s oeuvre, directed by Ezra Weisz, features a gamely goofy cast, including Drew Droege (“Cry in the Dark”), Ron Morehouse (“Death Becomes Her”), Steve Hasley (“The Bridges of Madison County”), Mike Rose (“The River Wild”) and Trent Walker (“Silkwood”). The most hilarious segment of the evening is a six-minute rendition of the entire plot of “Out of Africa,” performed by David Dean Bottrell with a spot-on Danish accent and a languid manner that is at hilarious odds with his breathlessly-paced romp. Things take a surprisingly serious turn with Taylor Negron’s monologue from “Sophie’s Choice,” a quietly delicate performance that does fitting service to Streep’s mastery.
–F. Kathleen Foley
“Streep Tease,” Bang Comedy Theater, 457 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Saturdays only. Ends April 24. $15. (323) 653-6886. www.bangstudio.com. Running time: 1 hour, 5 minutes.
Photo: David Dean Bottrell, top, Ron Morehouse, Taylor Negron, Drew Droege, Roy Cruz, center, Trent Walker, Steve Hasley, Mike Rose, bottom. Photo Credit: Sabrina Hill-Weisz.