The show's structure is predictable—a group of messed-up friends go to the Hole to fill the void, stuff happens, occasionally they sing ballads—but it lacks a point of view. Witless dialogue and unfocused performances make it impossible to care about the characters, and there's nothing to care about in their stead. The club itself, represented by a platform, a multipurpose turntable (a clever choice by designer Zane Enloe), and loads of red light, is too generic to be interesting. The satire, aimed at targets easy (the sexy airhead, the bossy dyke, the annoying girl from New Jersey) and awkward (negligent single mothers, coke addicts, horny high school teachers), never amounts to a substantive critique. The scandal (nudity, simulated sex acts, racist jokes, sniffing cocaine powder off a dirty bathroom floor) is more tasteless than titillating.
The poor acoustics of St. Clement's Episcopal Church, unaided by a temperamental sound system, don't help matters. At the performance I saw, most of the lyrics were inaudible. The situation will improve over the course of the run, but that won't help matters either. When Alex Michaels, as drag queen "La Qeefa," makes her grand entrance, the show's problem is neatly summed up. She's dressed to the nines and, as played by Michaels, draped in charisma, but as soon as she opens her mouth, she's a slave to her writers. Honestly, if you can't even get the drag-queen banter right, I'll pay my cover charge elsewhere.
Presented by the Layre Productions at the Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 W. 46th St., NYC. Sept. 12–20. Tue.–Thu, Sat., 8 p.m.; Fri., 7 and 10 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. (212) 868-4444 or www.smarttix.com.