On Friday, I became aware of the existence of Harvey Finkelstein's Sock Puppet Showgirls. Specifically, I became aware that it is playing on Saturday nights at the Ace of Clubs on Great Jones Street. I have long been a fan of the movie, and having found out that it is now being staged, in sock puppet form, about three nanoseconds from my apartment, I could not rest until I saw it.
Accordingly, tonight (or, to be technical, since I started this when I came home drunk, and am finishing it the next day: last night), I went to check it out. Over the past few years, I've probably walked past the Ace of Clubs about a million times, but I had never been inside before. It is an underground space with a good vibe, and the bartender was really nice.
The place was packed! As everyone sat waiting for the show to begin, the guy next to me turned to me and asked, "Are you here because of the sock puppets, or because of Showgirls?" To which I could only respond, "Both!"
Anyway, I can now report that Sock Puppet Showgirls is exactly what it sounds like: a production of the movie Showgirls, using sock puppets. There is a frizzy-haired blonde sock puppet playing the role of Nomi Malone (portrayed by Elizabeth Berkeley in the film), a sock puppet with a cowboy hat playing Cristal Connors (portrayed by Gina Gershon in the film), and a Lamb Chop puppet playing Molly the seamstress friend (portrayed by some chick I never saw again in the film).
Not surprisingly, a lot of abridging goes on; the plot with James the dancer is entirely cut out, as are a huge number of scenes. The sock puppets do, however, hit a lot of the movie's highlights, including:
- Nomi's inexplicable, violent overreactions to nearly everything, including her french-fry-throwing first meeting with Molly.
- Nomi's pole dance at the Cheetah.
- The most violent lapdance ever!
- Impossible swimming pool sex!
- The Doggie Chow lunch at Spago.
- Nomi taking revenge on her friend's assailant.
- ...and much, much more.
While I don't understand why there would still be somebody out there who has not seen the movie, be warned that Sock Puppet Showgirls is best enjoyed with some knowledge of the film. And a few cocktails under your belt.
Also, if you go, try and arrive early, because some of the folding chairs really suck. And the drinks are rather weak. Other than that, though, this is easily the finest live entertainment I've seen since Lee Payne performed "Enjoy the Silence" at Jamaica's dinner party at the end of our first year in law school.