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Venue: Gypsy Tent Bar, 607 New York Ave. NW
Saturday, July 24 at 5:30 p.m.
They Say: “Writer of Fringe 2009’s acclaimed ‘Teacher’s Lounge,’ Cadace Gingrich-Jones now waltzes on the wacky side. Lesbians longing for a family. Suicidal fertility doctor. Crooning ova, bisexual bedlam, desperate drag kings, jazzed-up Jesus freaks, and more. You’ll leave howling in harmony.”
Matt’s Take: Have you heard the one about lesbians moving in together on their second date? Zing! Singing Eggs and Spermless Babies, a musical farce about the woes of same-sex pregnancy, is betting on your finding such set-ups hilarious. Results may vary.
The plot is relatively inconsequential given the material’s over-the-top silliness, but it goes something like this: Erin (Candace Gingrich-Jones) and Mari (Rebecca Gingrich-Jones) are trying to have a baby, though early attempts at insemination have been problematic. To cool brewing tensions at home, the couple embark on a gay cruise with their bisexual buddy Val (Mimsi Janis) who quickly falls in lust with Gary (Eric Jones), a depressed fertility doctor reeling from his failed attempts at impregnating lesbian lizards. Stir in Erin’s desire to become Aaron, and Bob (Caleb Caudill), Gary’s Bible-thumping lover, and you’ve got the perfect set-up for a variety of LGBT hijinx.
Yet for all of this madcap novelty,Singing Eggs and Spermless Babies is written in the same key as Gen-X provocateur Kevin Smith‘s work; even with its ribald wise-cracks on loan from Michael Patrick King( “Benedyke Arnold”? Really?), its themes are frustratingly simplistic and conventional. Subversion requires more than just a few dirty words. Overextended at nearly 90 minutes, Singing Eggs presents a crowded field of ideas that an intentionally light piece of musical theater needn’t burden itself with, given its proclivity for corny jokes and childlike songs denouncing the mean world at large while reinforcing the importance of having good friends.
Ignoring the goofiness at its core, Singing Eggsharbors misguided pretensions that feel completely alien to its let’s-put-on-a-show cheerfulness. “Wouldn’t Be Here Today” is one such example via song, a straight-faced empowerment anthem lost in a play milking laughs from two actresses dressed up as — you guessed it — singing eggs. Another is “Big Old Gay,” an ill-conceived attempt at political statement intended to shock — this is Fringe, mind you — by proclaiming “Jesus is a Big ol’ Fag.” The song feels like a retread of the sort of culture-war bait Matt Stone and Trey Parker exhausted back in the late ’90s. When sacrilege feels this routine, is nothing sacred?
See it if: Rhyming songs are your favorite.
Skip it if: In your opinion, the word “lesbitch” does not qualify as a joke.