The Willows Theatre’s “Six Women with Braindeath, or Expiring Minds Want to Know” is a lot like “American Idol” – amidst the stellar stars like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, there’s some lackluster performances who bring the show down.
Fortunately “Six Women” doesn’t have anyone really bad, like a William Hung, but only about half the “women” carry the show and the others are more like a Taylor Hicks or Ruben Studdard whose stars seem to shine less brightly.
Erica Richardson alone is worth the price of admission. Think of her as “Six Women’s” Jennifer Hudson. In fact, her amazing pipes and voluptuous figure make one conjure up Effie from “Dreamgirls,” which won Hudson the Oscar.
For those expecting a complete narrative tale from “Six Women” will be disappointed. It’s more a musical revue poking fun at ridiculous tabloid headlines through the years. Some of the scenes are quite funny, especially the one dealing with Barbie (with full Barbie nudity!); the Prom Queen sequence is pretty funny even though Muraya Ranieri’s timing seems to be a bit off and her singing lacks confidence.
Jujuana Williams and Kerry Wininger both have some good moments but it’s Richardson’s who owns this show – she’s the Kelly Clarkson of “Six Women.”
And like other productions at the Willows, the cocktails that coincide with the show do not disappoint. The Prom Queen drink was fresh and delightful. It seems their creativity was limited to the drinks as none of the food offered seemed to take the show into consideration. These are the little touches that just add to the overall experience and the food just didn’t deliver.
The public relations man behind the Willows Theatre offered to eat his hat if I liked this less than “Hats.” The good news is, while it’s no “Avenue Q” – the best show ever produced by the Willows – it’s much better than “Hats” so no Mr. PR, you’re hat is safe…this time!
If this was actually “American Idol,” I think I was more generous than Simon. But I’ve always thought I was more like a Paula judge anyway.
“Six Women” plays through September 19. For tickets go to www.willowstheatre.org.