||'Kathy & Mo' will make you chuckle and cringe
BY HANNAH MARIA HAYES
Press & Sun-Bulletin
ENDICOTT -- No stone is left unturned in Parallel Lives: The Kathy & Mo Show.
On Stage Review
WHAT: Parallel Lives: The Kathy & Mo Show, part of the Off-Nanticoke series
WHERE: Cider Mill Playhouse, 2 S. Nanticoke Ave., Endicott
WHEN: 4 and 8:15 p.m. today, 3 p.m. Sunday. Also: 8:15 p.m. April 17-19.
BOX OFFICE: Call 748-7363.
The off-Broadway hit, created by comedians Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy, is part of the Cider Mill Playhouse's alternative season. The play involves a series of vignettes during which two actresses play numerous male and female characters who are trying to cope with modern life.
Parallel Lives: The Kathy & Mo Show is a comedy that is definitely not afraid to poke fun at some controversial topics including religion, sex, menstruation, death, homosexuality and marriage. It also makes light of male-female relationships, stereotypes and family relations.
The play was first produced at Second Stage in New York City in 1986. It contains adult situations and language, so if you're easily offended, don't go.
Actresses Kim Crow (Mo) and Mardie Schaefer (Kathy), both from Florida, create the worlds of about 15 people in the nearly three-hour-long show.
One minute they are a dating collegiate couple -- a ditzy blonde and frat boy -- who eat dinner at a restaurant frequented by cross-dressers and homosexuals. The next minute they become gossiping socialites. One whispers to the other to ask for a tampon; the other giggles and says, "Oh you mean 'A lipstick?'" to hide the meaning of a "taboo" object. That's followed by a piece on what it would be like if women were to talk about their periods as if they were men -- slapping each other on the back and bragging about who has the worst cramps.
If it's appropriate during the course of the play, Mo or Kathy may yell at or toss a comment toward an audience member or even swipe a drink from someone's table.
Crow and Schaefer each had moments when they owned the stage and commanded the audience's attention. Their ability to quickly transform into myriad personas was impressive and kept the audience guessing.
They both stole the show with their take on an over-the-top lesbian performance duo. Even those audience members who appeared more conservative than others got a chuckle out of Crow and Schaefer's obvious glee at representing the feminist worship of women and their reproductive organs.
However, there were a few skits where the jokes or an attempt at social commentary just seemed to miss the mark. One could almost see question marks hanging over people's heads. The failed jokes weren't necessarily the actresses' fault, but perhaps involved a script that does not possess the same timeless qualities as those by William Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde.
Parallel Lives: The Kathy & Mo Show brings a different brand of humor to the stage. But even though laughing isn't a sin, don't expect your local pastor to endorse some of the play's more controversial messages.