By Dana Casadei
In 1995, Elizabeth Berkley of “Saved By The Bell” fame would land a role she would become infamous for, Nomi Malone in “Showgirls.” Even though the film would go on to win a then-record seven Razzies, it achieved something else entirely: a cult status comparable to that of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Along with midnight showings, cult status can also lead to hilarious parodies made with love, such as The Ringwald’s “Snow Girls.”
Adapted by Richard Read, “Snow Girls,” in its Michigan premiere, takes viewers to one of the largest poles, The North Pole. Hitchhiking her way to The Northern Lights, Nomey Maloney (Joe Bailey) is determined to make it in the biz, traveling with her switchblade, big hair and little else.
After Nomey arrives via a sled-ride from slightly creepy Elvis (Alex D. Hill), she meets Ebony Mahogany (scene-stealer Genevieve Jona), who becomes her BFF and roommate. Ebony’s also a seamstress at the area’s best topless bar, where everyone’s a diva, especially the show’s lead, the villainess Krystal Berger (the fabulous Lisa Melinn). As Nomey begins her climb to the top, she meets handsome Kyle McLachlan (Brenton Herwat), a man that may be able to throw her off her track to fame and fortune. Throw in a lot of sabotage, one candy cane stripper pole and countless sexual advances, and you have the makings of a Christmas parody that rivals the original.
The film flop was 131 minutes long while “Snow Girls” is a little over an hour, making the plot zip as fast as a hunger polar bear chasing down his dinner. Director Dyan Bailey, who also did the sound design, keeps the scenes brisk in the winter wonderland. There’s a mix of holiday music and music that sounds like it came from a film called “Naughty Elves 4” breaking up the scenes. Her cast has no problem keeping up with the pace, swiftly switching between roles, and ad-libbing cripple jokes.
Why? Before the show began, Dan Morrison – who plays Jack Frost and others – told the audience that Bailey took a little bit of a tumble during Friday’s opening night performance. Bailey is now sporting a boot during performances and, of course, a fabulous heel. The cast now has to work around the boot, helping him get dressed and undressed on stage, among other things. This also leads to a few slight wardrobe malfunctions, but the cast makes it work, and manages to make a joke about it before they move on. They know it happened, we know it happened, but it doesn’t affect the rhythm of the show.
Bailey may be wearing a boot, but it doesn’t change how great his performance is. Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that you’re told beforehand what happened, you would think the boot was some random character trait. In his cast bio, Bailey said that he never thought he’d be playing this role, but you are going to be glad he did. Any time Bailey dances you can’t take your eyes off him, especially with some of the noises he makes while thrusting about.
Is the show perfect? Nah. The set isn’t all that impressive, and if you’ve never seen the film, the show’s quick pace may make you feel a little breathless. But its imperfections, much like the flaws of the “Snow Girls” characters, are what make it worth watching.
The Ringwald Theatre, 22742 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday & Monday, and 3 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 16. $10-20. 248-545-5545. http://www.theringwald.com