Tom Cruise: Underwear Dancer, Vampiric Brad Pitt Cohabitator, Mission Impossible Enabler, Oprah Affected Couch Dancer (again with the dancing); butt of gay men’s jokes… (OMG, I did not just word it like that…butt okay…I mean really, no one’s more surprised than I am!) So imagine my double surprise upon viewing the above said poster: “Tom Cruise movies , Reinvented. Reloaded. and Gone Gay…Cruisin’”.
The production, still in “work shop” mode is the brain child of Rob Nolan. Adapted and directed by Teddy Margas and Ron Morehouse, the roughly hour long cavalcade of Cruises takes a crack at capturing the captive viewers’ comedic cravings copiously and charismatically.
The opening scene reads like an episode of “This is Your Life” answered solely in movie titles doubling as long lost guests. All rejoinders are infused into “Tom Cruise’s” answers like the inter-splicing of current top 40 songs into late 70s/early 80s radio DJ interview sketches.
Interviewer: Who sent you here?
Tom Cruise: The Firm.
Interviewer: Describe your marriage to Nicole Kidman.
Tom Cruise: Mission Impossible.
Interviewer: …and your marriage to Katie Holmes…?
Tom Cruise: Mission Impossible II.
And one of the most memorable answers to go with a forgotten question: (because I wasn’t doing my job as a reviewer and writing it down…) “Cocktail with a few good men with all the right moves”. (“All the Right Moves”—was hoping they wouldn’t forget that one!)
After said battery of questioning, Cruise is then told that his mission, should he choose to accept it, is to go back and do all his movies the way they were MEANT to be done!
Nearly all the films are explored in monologue form with different actors portraying Cruise in each, none of whom particularly look or sound like Cruise and sometimes it doesn’t even beg my attention, yet other times the differences are too arresting for me not to ignore and take me out of the satirical flow just a bit. But never mind, I know it’s still in its work shopping stages.
*Redone* films explored include “Magnolia” (aka “Fagnolia” as will flash up on the stage’s dorsal screen as the “Mag” is swiftly crossed out by an unseen hand) wherein a somewhat husky version of Tom Cruise, played by the comedically sound Craig Taggert, dressed like an effeminate Austin Powers and copping a voice most reminiscent of Paul Lynde, struts and frets upon the stage like a not-so-closeted gay man trying to help men get women in only the most heterosexual of homosexual ways. “Respect the cock. I’m the one who’s in charge,” is particularly funny when uttered by the Paul Lynde-voiced Austin Powers as he shakes, stirs and tastes his Martini in one strategic spit!
On next to my favorite: “Risky Business” performed by the New York accented Matthew Nouriel. Rather than take place in North Shore High School/Chicago, all actions within the auspices of the monologue transpire in an STD clinic on San Vicente. This throws me a little and frankly I think I would find it funnier if ol’ Tom/aka Joel were confessing his fear of having contracted an STD to Nurse Bolik (y’know…after his namby pamby line about “just needing a little compassion”—to the bug-eyed stony-faced high school medical worker?) Regardless, I find some of the jokes funny, particularly when he reenacts going over to the neighbors’ to find the gorgeous guy he recently met (On Grindr—in 1983?) in the shower, “He’s just so hard (minor beats before the thought’s continuation) to find through all the steam and stuff.”
Other Scenes/Monologues include “Cocktail with a Vampire”, performed by Trent Walker and Chris Pudlo, which I didn’t completely understand, partly because it broke form of sticking to one film at a time and probably, secondarily, as I hadn’t seen either film in quite awhile, “The Audition”, performed by Joel Scher, which I was also confused about as it was merely a re-enactment of one guy auditioning as the three ex-Mrs. Tom Cruises (Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes) for all the movies they’d ever done but, again, not a Tom Cruise movie gone gay. At this juncture I think I would have preferred to see a guy, or series of guys (possibly even other allegedly gay stars in Hollywood), just flat out auditioning to be the next Mrs. Tom Cruise. “Okay, we realize nobody’s buying it with these dames. Come on now and show us your Cuba Goodin’ money!”
“Jerry McGuire” involves a lecture/pep talk by ol’ Jerry himself, portrayed in this scene by Ron Morehouse, showing slides of all his very um…athletic clients—all male…their uhhhh “athleticism” being accentuated further and further as the slideshow progresses. The monologue ends with a “thank you” and an “I love you” to his female life partner and then a related slide of his wife Dorothy to a rather comedic and surprising end.
“Top Gun” written by Chris Pudlo and performed by the entire cast, takes soaring talent to a whole new level and brings it on down to the dance floor as Maverick and Iceman more than hint at falling in love…Hmm, I sometimes suspect I’ve always wanted to see this for quite some time now… The spoken word portion of the evening wraps up with “A Few Good Men” as Tom’s character, played by Teddy Margas, interviews a very noted public figure–Sochi-style.
The performance in its entirety, rounds itself out giving ode to one of my favorites, yet again: “Risky Business” with a near chorus line of dancing, tighty-whitey, oxford shirted, sock clad Tom Cruises—one of my favorite aspects of the uh…*retrospective* and a rousingly jolly good time for all!
Remaining performances of “Cruisin’” will take place on Saturday March 15th and Saturday March 22nd at 8 pm at OhmyRibs, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038, (323) 20-STAGE.
Warning: This show contains explicit pornographic images. If this offends you (says the program)…get over it!!!