A Report on ‘Summer Hummer: Ménage à Trois’ at Signature Theatre

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Summer Hummer: Ménage à Trois at Signature Theatre Benefits theatreWashington’s Taking Care of Our Own  

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Summer Hummer: Ménage à Trois at Signature Theatre on Monday evening made Cabaret and Chicago look as G-rated as Sesame Street. Billed as “The Bawdy Burlesque to Benefit Taking Care of Our Own,” the third-annual Summer Hummer featured many of Washington’s best and most well-known performers laying it all bare in the two-hour long burlesque-style performance to benefit theatreWashington’s Taking Care of Our Owna program started to raise funds to provide emergency assistance to members of the Washington theatre community.

Bobby Smith and Eric Schaeffer in the SUMMER HUMMER — at Signature Theatre. PhoBobby Smith and Eric Schaeffer in the SUMMER HUMMER — at Signature Theatre. Photo courtesy of theatreWashington’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theatreWashington

Bobby Smith and Eric Schaeffer in the SUMMER HUMMER — at Signature Theatre. Photo by Christopher O. Banks.

Stars that came out in support of the event included: Eunice Bae, Evan Casey, Austin Colby, Carolyn Cole, Natascia Diaz, Erin Driscoll, Jamie Eacker, Catie Flye, James Gardiner, Will Gartshore, Donna Migliaccio, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Maria Rizzo, Nicholas Rodriguez, Bobby Smith, Stephen Gregory Smith, Nick Vaughn, Lauren Williams, and even Sherri L. Edelen in a short video clip.

Directed by Helen Hayes Award recipients Matthew Gardiner and Eric Schaeffer, the performance featured cabaret-style performances throughout the evening interspersed with short monologues, segments of audience participation, and “beer breaks” in which audience members could buy beers from “beer boys and girls” who would walk around throughout the aisles of the audience in little more than jockstraps and panties (“Costume Jocks” by Bob Mackie and Bras by “Victoria Secret’s Thrift Shop”) to collect money in large yellow buckets. The concept was simple: the more you gave, the less they wore.

Bayla Whitten and Ryan Sellers in the SUMMER HUMMER — at Signature Theatre. Photo courtesy of theatreWashington.

Bayla Whitten and Ryan Sellers in the SUMMER HUMMER — at Signature Theatre. Photo by Christopher O. Banks.

The opening number by Christopher Youstra entitled “Good Things Always Cum In Threes” was a sure-fire hit, featuring the ensemble providing a suggestive tease of the evening and setting the scandalous tone for the performance.

The pieces throughout the night took some of the most recognizable songs from pop culture and Broadway and turned them into titillating covers, with Music Direction by Darius “Sexpot” Smith. For instance, Carolyn Cole and Maria Egler did a cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” that turned the song into a memoire about one’s first experience with anal sex. Other songs include a scintillating cover of “Naughty” from Matilda, in which two girls dressed as schoolgirls skimped about the stage singing about their sexual experiences.

One of the highlights of the evening was Natascia Diaz performing a “mad libs” version of Chicago’s “All That Jazz,” which was renamed “All That Jizz.” The segment began by encouraging audience members to contribute words in categories like “favorite sex toy” and “things you cry out during climax.” There was hardly a straight face in the audience as Diaz delivered what was an unforgettable rendition of the Broadway hit.

Choreographed by Helen Hayes Award recipient Karma Camp, the performance also featured a few segments of synchronized choreography that really pumped up the audience. The culmination of this was a Beyoncé segment featuring girls and boys dressed up in high heels dancing to Beyoncé hits including “Crazy In Love” and “Naughty Girl.”

Running Time: Approximately two hours.

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Summer Hummer played for one night only on August 18, 2014, at Signature Theatre—4200 Campbell Avenue in Arlington, Virginia. Summer Hummer 4 is scheduled for Monday, August 17, 2015.

Donate to Taking Care of Our Own.

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