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‘Spank! Harder’ dominates with high-octane hilarity

Spank! Harder's Michelle Miracle as EBJ and Ben Palacios as Hugh Hanson
Spank! Harder's Michelle Miracle as EBJ and Ben Palacios as Hugh Hanson
Paul Schnaittacher

The expansive room at the Musikfest Café — think warehouse, not “café” — in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was filled with tables that were tightly arranged so as to invite interaction with your neighbors. Ample additional seating was located on the second floor balcony. Scanning the vast space, it appeared every table was occupied. Saturday night, March 29 marked the end of a three-night tour stop for the troupe of profoundly energetic entertainers that was presenting Spank! Harder, the sequel to last year’s Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody.

Michelle Miracle, who led the cast playing author E.B. Janet, was absolutely absorbing. Miracle was the snarky, knowing wink responsible for forging a sisterhood-strong bond with the audience. Her phenomenal vibrance set the bar at an olympic height.

Shelly Regner portrayed the once naïve and innocent Tasha Woode with such a robust enthusiasm for all things kinky, that her penchant for anything but vanilla became a rallying point for the audience. To say Regner gave 200% would be a serious understatement because her adorably feisty and infectious flair was thoroughly exhilarating.

Ben Palacios and Chris Gustin rounded out the cast as flip sides of the same savory hunk-coin: self-absorbed yet totally likable gazillionaire Hugh Hanson and affable, heart-first, good guy Carter Carnegie. Not only was this disarmingly dynamic duo chiseled from the same zero body fat slab of beefcake, but they were tears-in-the-eyes funny.

Also, worthy of mention was the cameo by understudy, Ken Allen Neely, who added just the perfect dash of musical seasoning with his guitar.

The astute writing made effective use of every double entendre imaginable, while still managing to hammer home a tight, well-crafted story. At points, the risqué lyrics in the parody songs were so outrageously blunt that they would have made the writers of South Park blush!

The night abounded with surprises, hilarity, and bits of naughty delivered in a no-chance-to-catch-your-breath, high-octane cavalcade of riotous entertainment. Spank! Harder had a whole lot of everything; it was one supremely satisfying show.

For remaining cities and dates, visit: Spank! Harder tour dates.