Two Nights With Minky Woodcock

And what a show it was.

I got to see… some of this.

I’ve spoken a fair amount about one of the supporting actresses. Perhaps now would be a good time to discuss the lead. Well, as close as one can be to a lead in a show whose experience alters so drastically from audience member to audience member.

Burlesque performer Pearls Daily was an absolute delight as Minky Woodcock. I’d read a review of the show praising her as a performer, and within minutes it was clear I hadn’t been deceived. And she managed that with minimal dialogue, since after the opening moment of Bess introducing Harry to his new assistant Minky (who Bess has hired to keep an eye on him), the next few minutes are Minky and one of Harry’s staff… big guy, had a sledge hammer… should have made a note of his name… let’s call him Larry?… panicking, mostly silently, as Harry attempts his underwater escape trick, and they wonder if he’s drowning and they need to smash the glass.

(There was about thirty extra minutes of show before all of that if you had a VIP ticket. I did not. So… can’t speak to that part.)

The best part was, between glimpses of Harry in the water tank, a moment when Minky’s panic descended into despair, legs shaking, body sagging, then she looked up, remembered the crowd, and put on a hilariously desperate smile for the crowd before shrieking “TWELVE MINUTES!” in high-pitched dread. After which Harry emerged from the wings, naturally.

Our “train” began to carry us north, to where Harry’s ankle was injured… and as he shouted in pain, Minky burst into an excessively cheerful jitterbug* to cover while the curtains swished closed.

(*I think? I’ve never been entirely certain what, exactly, a jitterbug looks like. Don’t you judge me. Maybe it was more of a lindy hop? Can you do either of those solo?)

It’s pretty clear why Ms. Daily is such an in-demand burlesque dancer in New York. She’s a hell of an entertainer.

My only difficulty in this first of three in-theatre sections of the show was when Minky had to replace Harry in the water tank post-injury. There was an elegant slow-motion sequence between Harry and Larry (maybe “Larry” was a bad call… and I think it might have been Jack?) over whether or not to shatter the tank, but it was set to an original song performed from the audience by Ms. Anderson. I was… torn as to where my attentions were best placed.

Next page: Encounters With Bess

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *