No Stopping Them Now

STopless Go-Go Girls at the Troll Hole

Written and Directed by Charles Battersby
Le Phew! Productions
Non-Equity Production
Review by Andrés J. Wrath

sTopless Go-Go Girls at the Troll Hole is one of those unexpected finds. With both its campy and on-purpose bad-theatre sensibilities, it was truly hilarious and a lot of fun. It doesn't require you to wait for the hero to get what he wants, none of the characters develop past their over-the-top antics, and the story, for all it is, is pretty slim. Yet, if you can forgive Go-Go Girls' lack of dramaturgy and give into its badness and lunacy, you will be able to sit back and have a great time. This is the laugh-out-loud play of the season.

Almost the B-movie equivalent of The Ritz, the play opens with Slave Boy (Johnny Blaze Leavitt) tied to a cross in his leather thong by Ms. Bitch (Bobbie Jean Daniel), begging for mercy. He has tried to sneak in without paying and now he is at the mercy of the inhabitants of the dungeon that is called "The Troll Hole." Enter an NYU student (Belinda Bissonette)who desperately needs the cash, so she is willing to be a dominatrix. She wants to be called Hecate. Also in its fast-paced 45 minute adventure is an evil school girl on cocaine named Luna (Molly Kay McCullough), a military psychopath named Mellisa (Monica Mercedes), a German Gestapo dominatrix named Ursula (Selena Lovecraft), a French maid (Pete Florax), and many assorted others.

Although the script was generally very well-written, it could have gone further. In its short running time, its characters could have used further development. It was never sure who the main focus was, and therefore the play has very little in the way of a forward thrust. It would seem Hecate could be the protagonist who is the innocent and who learns the ropes in the course of the play. She however becomes the scapegoat in a climax that is a little too easy. With stronger character development, the payoff could have been stronger than it is. What was present, however, were the off-the-wall comic bits, so non-stop-funny you may fall off your chair.

The cast, which also included Casey Dickerson and Howell Mayer, was uniformly good, spreading its wealth of antics and over-the-top playing. Charles Battersby's directing was clean and consistent. Never did the players seem pushed or forced. With comedy of this sort, that was not an easy feat, and it was pulled off with much skill and finese.

Mike Ashley's set and light design was very simple and did their job. The uncredited costumes were fabulous.
Box Score:

Writing: 1

Directing: 2

Acting: 2

Set: 1

Costumes: 2

Lighting/Sound: 1

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Copyright 2000 Andrés J. Wrath