Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The recent publication of a trilogy of sexually searing novels, that have enjoyed the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List and Amazon.com for many weeks, has gripped the imagination of the country’s women, as well as a few men.

These best sellers will soon be a movie but, first, come see the new musical version “SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody” written and directed by Jim Millan and Mills Entertainment coming to fire up the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford Thursday, October 25 to Saturday, October 27, naughty and hot from its world premiere this month at City Stage in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The naïve and easily manipulated recent college graduate, now known as Tasha Woods (instead of Anastasia Steele) has had her hands full to overflowing managing the attentive and controlling interests of corporate executive and billionaire Hugh Hanson (no longer Christian Grey).

Mr. Hanson has a unique agenda and a huge contract that attests to his sexual proclivities and the relationship he is dictating for one Tasha Woods.  Author E.L. James is now going by the name EB Janet as she takes her trusty and loyal computer and starts to pen her love fantasy and it springs to life in glorious color on the stage with Tasha as the virginal love-starved girl who has low self-esteem and doesn’t realize her powers and Hugh, the dictatorial dominatrix who has a fetish for bondage, ropes and whips.  Tasha’s after-school job in a hardware store proves providential for his shopping list of needs.

Together, the pair meet when Tasha interviews him for the college newspaper, in place of her roommate who is suddenly taken ill.  When the clumsy Tasha literally falls into his office at his feet, she sets off a string of adventures that involve helicopters, gliders, toothbrushes, whips and chains.

Along their journey, they sing parodies to everything from “The Sound of Music” to Gilbert and Sullivan.  Apparently Hugh Hanson attended the Chippendale School of Dance, as he is incredibly flexible and free in his movements.  The shy Tasha literally opens up at his bidding.

You don’t have to have read “Fifty Shades of Grey” to enjoy this pun-filled romp in the bedroom and in the Red Room of Pain, but you’ll enjoy the punch lines a little faster if you have.  Conceived in July of this year, “SPANK!” is a fun tongue-in-cheek and many other places tribute to what America finds titillating.

For tickets ($35-45), call the Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford at 860-987-5900 or online at www.bushnell.org.  Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Come at 6:30 p.m. to enjoy a special SPANK! Cocktail with friends and have your picture taken with the male hunk starring as Hugh.

Earn bragging rights around the water cooler, in the sports bar, at the beauty parlor, over the coffee cups and in the privacy of the boudoir.  See “SPANK!” in all its tantalizing and teasing temptations.  Grab a necktie and tie one on today.  Beauty and the Beast were never so much fun!

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