cexFans of HBO's award-winning Sex and the City need not fear! The girls are back! Well, sort of. 4 Girls Productions' Cex and the Sity is a hilarious parody of probably one of my all-time favorite television shows.

Now for those living under a rock the past several years (or anyone without cable), Sex and the City was a Sunday night must for many women, gay men, and just about anyone who needed a good laugh and/or an occasional cry. The premise of the show was simple-four beautiful female New Yorkers gossiped about their sex-lives (or lack thereof) and found new ways to deal with being a modern woman. And, as this originally aired on HBO, it was a cussing, no-holds-barred estrogen fest.

Cleverly written by Rick Suvalle, Cex and the Sity, in just about an hour, flips through six seasons of all the great and prominent memories of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda, who, for purposes of this parody, have now become Shari, Mantha, Scarlet, and Cassandra, respectively. But it doesn't stop there.

We get glimpses of their initial meetings and what and where they will be in the distant future.

 

So much happens so fast, it's almost hard to keep up. I'm sure I missed about a third of the bits and gags. Kudos to the entire cast for keeping up with the necessary rapid pace, most notably Marjorie Suvalle as Shari, who not only physically resembles Sarah Jessica Parker at times, but is just plain hysterical, reminiscent of Julie Hagerty a la Airplane. Also very good are Theresa Fowler as Scarlet and Elizabeth Bowden as Cassandra. The casting of a male in the Samantha role is a brilliant and somewhat obvious decision, though I am not sure Christopher Flynn is comfortable in the part.

Steven Campanella, Sam Dingman, Stephen James Longo, and Jay Spece round out the cast as all the men. Yes, this is a parody and it is sketch comedy, but I felt that there was just a bit too much ham from the boys. Only at times. Otherwise, they were fine.

Michael Ormond's direction is rapid and right on. Aaron Mastin's costumes are fitting. The sound design by Joshua Rosalis sets the mood for the entire evening.

One need not have been a fan of the TV show to enjoy this production, but a lot would be missed. That would seem like a downfall, but given how popular the show was (there's an NYC Sex and the City bus tour, for crying out loud), I think there should be plenty of audience for this group to keep these girls alive just a little longer.

- John Samuel Jordan, nytheatre.com

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