Kiss Kiss Cabaret's latest show at the Greenhouse Theater, "SPEAKEASY!" is a trip back to the roaring 1920s complete with period music and costumes. The show is fantastic. It all starts with Max Flattery, who is also the co-producer (with Jennifer Kincaid) & director of the show. He is a combination master of ceremonies/carnival barker/clown/comedian. Max is a fine host and super quick with an insult to the drunken Germans tourists in the front row, however, he starts the show with a 10 minute monologue and by the time the show is done, he's on stage for what seems like more than an hour. There is a lot of Max in the show.
Max was joined on stage by two Chicago police officers in 1920s attire. They were investigating the vice violations going on at the theater. They came on between acts with Max, hassled him a bit and went off to search the theater. They had some great rotating blue police lights on their vintage police hats, but their police acting wasn't very convincing. Yes, it's a burlesque show, but they could have had much more attitude.
Minnie Minx was first up and very sultry dancing to "Lullaby of Birdland" in vintage lingerie. Then came EV Velour dancing to "Make Love to Me" in a little black dress. She also had some fun with the German tourists in between her perfect pin-up poses while dancing, and of course, taking her clothes off.
Werner Von Claptrap and Velma Claptrap did a great Groucho and Chico Marx routine complete with a bunch of authentic Groucho one liners, such as "Women should be obscene and not heard." It went well with the burlesque and ended with Werner singing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady."
Next up was Slightly Spitfire in a fabulous flapper dress doing a caffeine fueled ragtime dance where she drank coffee throughout it for energy. She was great. Elle Rioux was next with plenty of attitude dancing to "Hard Hearted Hannah" with a feather boa that you won't soon forget.
Each dancer also did a second entirely different routine, Minnie Minx did The Charleston, Elle Riox had an amazing royal blue flapper dress with yellow fringe complete with matching underwear. Brad French came on stage with a small violin case that contained his juggling balls. He was a marvel in a suit with every combination of black and white polka dots you could imagine while he juggled up to 5 balls.
The show runs Fridays at 11pm at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave and tickets are $20 and $25 for VIP.