TRAVERSE CITY — It’s raucous, sexy and naughty — everything a musical parody of the runaway bestselling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” should be.
“It’s an amazing show,” said Emily Dorezas, co-writer and co-producer of the original parody titled “50 Shades! The Musical,” which runs at the historic City Opera House in on Thursday, June 20, and Friday, June 21.
The jokes are hard hitting and dirty, Dorezas said. And sold-out audiences in Chicago and New York loved them. The show also received a four-star review at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
The musical opens with a ladies book club deciding to read “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the first in a trilogy of erotic romances written by EL James. Through the readers’ interpretation, the audience is led on a hilarious roller-coaster ride of the unlikely bestseller deemed by some as ‘Mommy Porn.’
The show features dance numbers, 11 original songs and a live band backing the performance. Songs include “They Get Nasty,” “I Don’t Make Love” and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me.”
Dorezas said that creating a parody of Fifty Shades was a no-brainer. She and her co-writer/producers come from Chicago-style improvisation comedy backgrounds like the Second City comedy troupe.
“This just seemed the way to go,” she said. “I can’t believe the reception it’s received so far — and nationally, too, which has been really nice. We did this initially to amuse ourselves.”
Audiences have been primarily women, Dorezas said, But the feedback from men is that they love the show.
“There also are a lot of benefits at home for men who have taken their women to a show,” she joked. “They thank us. We hear it all the time.”
She said most audience members have read the books and appreciate the comedic interpretation.
“We’ve taken liberties with it and the audience appreciates it. And with this topic you just have to laugh,” she said.
The book’s plot centers around Anastasia Steele, a young and naïve college student who is seduced by the rich and powerful Christian Grey.
More than 32 million copies of the books have been sold and a Universal Studios film adaptation of the novels currently is in development.
Like the book series, “50 Shaades! The Musical” is not intended for those under the age of 18. It is not associated with, endorsed or authorized by EL James or Vintage Books.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. June 20 and 8 p.m. June 21. Tickets start at $23 and are available at www.cityoperahouse.org or by calling the box office at 231-941-8082.
For more information about the show, visit www.50ShadesMusical.com.