o
natebutler.com
actorallt för sverigeartistbandsbiocalendarmusic
pianopresssilent moviesvideossite index
e-mail mehome

"SHEnatra!"

By Donald Munro
The Fresno Beehive, Sunday, March 6, 2016

Last year, Sadie Bowman and Donna Kay Yarborough captivated the Rogue with the brilliant satirical act “The Famous Haydell Sisters.” With razor-sharp lyrics and really strong vocals, their pitch-perfect parody became one of the festival’s big hits.

Now they’re back with another triumph. In “SHEnatra,” the Portland-based duo ups the theatrical ante in terms of difficulty level by posing this very funny premise: What if Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin have been stuck in Purgatory all these years because of the way they treated women? And what if, to make things even more interesting, their souls had been squeezed into women’s bodies?

The show features plenty of Rat Pack songs with razor-sharp parody lyrics. (Example: “Luck be a Lady Tonight” becomes “Chuck Me a Baby Tonight.”) But the real heart of the show is the characters and the banter between them. Yarborough plays Sinatra with uncanny accuracy, at the same time channeling his male mannerisms (a shrug of the shoulders, a quick crotch adjustment) into a more gender-fluid form. (Her deep voice lends itself perfectly to the endeavor.) Bowman, as Dean Martin, goes for a slightly less realistic approach, softening her character — that tipsy, smoke-inhaling duke of decadence — into a male chauvinist with, well, breasts.
The chemistry between the two is electric, the comic timing sharp and the premise thoroughly vindicated (which can be a problem with some fringe shows). I was intellectually tickled, but more than that, I had a visceral response to the show, settling into what I call my HTWBSGOMF mode. (Head Tilted With Big Silly Grin On My Face.)

In terms of structure, I think the hit parade that dominates the first part of the show could perhaps be shortened by dropping one song, then beefing up even more the celebrity roast bit, which I found hilarious. But overall, “SHEnatra” is a blisteringly funny show — and a must-see.