Dirty Girls, Part One

My cheeks literally ached during “Spank! The Fifty Shades of Grey” parody at a small theater in Seattle last week.

The audience of middle aged women (plus a few very brave men or hopeful dates) laughed raucously at the “musical,” which features a Bette Midlar-esque character as the popular trilogy’s author, trying to put the steamy scenes she envisions to paper. Two adept actors represented the book’s suave title character and the inexperienced young woman he takes under his wing for sexual adventures.

The evening reaffirmed that laughter definitely is the best medicine.

The outing for my group of gal-pals was organized by a member of our book club. We had discussed the first “Fifty Shades” installment at one of our monthly meetings, and of course often make reference to the books when we are together. The series has inserted itself into our popular culture.

And so, the parody was timely, and an unqualified hit.

When we entered the theater lobby, wr spotted a well-dressed man whipping a seasoned woman’s derrière as her wrists were clamped to boards above her shoulders. Apparently, after the show we could have paid for photos of ourselves in that position. The line was too long for those of us with kids to return to.

I wish I could remember the hilarious lines and scenes that brought tears to my eyes. They probably wouldn’t seem as funny if I repeated them here, anyway.

What I do remember is the buoyant feeling my friends and I shared as we exited. For two hours we had been thoroughly entertained. We had laughed at ourselves a bit– middle-aged women, like the writer portrayed on stage, with tried-and-true sex lives. We had gawked at the male character’s six-pack (or was it an eight pack?), and reveled in Anastasia’s overplayed innocence.

Most of all we, like the “author” on stage, engaged in some healthy escapism. For two hours we forgot about the laundry, dishes, homework and issues at home. For a short while, we thought of nothing but the drama we had actually paid for, and filled our souls with positive energy and good company.

We all need to remember to spend time with our friends, laughing, more often.

– Linda Williams Rorem, 18 February 2012
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