Steamy Shadowbox act keeps love, laughs alive

Shadowbox Cabaret

A sexual rendezvous between a groom and a bridesmaid, a phone-sex-crazed married man and a collection of impersonated cameos filled the Shadowbox Cabaret stage for its “Sex at the Box” show.

With the usual combination of sketch comedy and enticing songs performed by the house band, this show captured not only the Valentine’s spirit, but also the dirty side of love.

In “Cheek to Cheek,” actors Mark Kelley and Stacie Boord spend the entire sketch dancing with each other at a wedding reception. The two reveal the secrets of love affairs, flings and marriages to each other, as well as the audience.

This fast-paced comedy piece drew in the audience for the next sketch, “Telephone Gigolo by Grant Gotschall,” performed by Michael Pizzuto. He exposed the intimate details of his phone sex experience with his traveling wife in a relaxed bar-like atmosphere. At first, this sketch began slow and awkward, but as Pizzuto became more comfortable with the audience, he became bolder with his mannerisms, choice of words and volume.

Pizzuto also mastered the voice of radio personality, Casey Kasem, in the spoof of “American Top 40 – Valentunes.” In this sketch, various celebrities are imitated including: Clay Aiken, played by Mark Kelley, Beyonce, played by Michelle Daniels, the Dixie Chicks, played by Lori Hunt, Erin Spears and Aleta Shaffner, and infamous Michael Jackson played by keyboardist Brian Westbrook. Each artist performed renditions of popular songs with love-laced lyrics – transforming well-known songs into funny parodies.

Westbrook didn’t just attract attention with his Michael Jackson parodies; while performing with the house band, his dance moves and eccentric playing style made him stand out from the rest of the musicians.

The band members adopted their own sense of character and style while they performed. Songs such as “Let’s Get it On” allowed the band to play sensually, whereas “Pour Some Sugar on Me” let the musicians explore their sexual side.

Shadowbox Cabaret did some exploring of its own during the second half of the show which features original material. One such sketch,”Demented Family Feud,” linked locally known events and with personality types.

Although Valentine’s Day is in the past, this show will keep the love and laughs alive.

“Sex at the Box” is in its last week of production before the new show, “Dirty Little Secrets,” which begins its run March 16.