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LA Theater Review

Octomom the Musical

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It's actually a little frightening, the thought of being part of the media blitz about the musical about the media blitz about the media blitz that is—or, hopefully, was—about Octomom. And the people behind Cabaret Voltaire's shameless exploitation of public sensation certainly don't shy away from capitalization on any level. But refreshingly, once we get past all the hype surrounding Octomom the Musical, there's a funny, sweet, and somewhat scrappy standup musical satire that hits its targets pretty darn often, without too much collateral damage.

The evening is loosely constructed, cabaret-style, around the story of Angelina Jolie look-alike Octo (Molly McCook), who finally believes she has one-upped "bitch-ass Miss Jolie" after the birth of her twins. Although this brings her total of lab rats, I mean children, to six, we know this is only the beginning. Writer-director-producer-performer Chris Voltaire, teaming with composer–music director Rachael Lawrence, has cleverly connected the path of Octo's subsequent "investments" with the inflation of the real estate bubble and the rise of Bernie Madoff, et al.; a focused and energetic cast ensures it's an entertaining ride. A dynamic Dinora Walcott as a songstress named Real guides us through the antics of these pop-culture cartoons: As Madoff, the solid John Combs does a mean "super Jew" Blake Hogue is hysterical as a real estate sleaze and a number of other over-the-top characters; and the wonderful McCook has a pout to die for and a killer voice to boot. Voltaire, Lynette Li, Alexandra Holtzman, and Stu Barron round out the ensemble; each has a fabulously ridiculous moment in the spotlight (a wink also to the musical staging of Dean McFlicker).

So if Octomom the Musical feels a little shaky at times or has a few too many rough edges showing for those who were expecting TMZ polish, it's all part of the fun. No safety issues surround paparazzi or anything else here, which is mostly a good thing.

Presented by Cabaret Voltaire at the Fake Gallery, 4319 Melrose Ave., Hollywood. July 18Aug. 15. Sat., 8 and 10 p.m.
(323) 856-1168. www.plays411.com/octomom.

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