Looking for the latest theatrical tale of romantic rendezvous? Take your mom, take your sister, or better yet, take yourself, over to St. Luke's Theater, to follow three women "of a certain age" on a journey of self-discovery in "Cougar The Musical," though you don't have to be over 40 to enjoy the fun and original story and songs by playwright and composer, Donna Moore.
First, meet Mary-Marie (played by Babs Winn), the vibrant and comical owner of the new "cougar" bar in town, "Elder Grill and Boys Lounge". Mary-Marie may be over-the-hill, but her age doesn't stop her over-active libido from seeking out any young man who will have her. Next up, Lily (played by Mary Mossberg), a recent divorcee whose voice and stage presence dazzle as beautifully as her slim, sexy figure, stumbles upon Mary-Marie's bar in her naivete, and is first introduced to the idea of being a "cougar"(an older woman who dates younger men). Finally, enter Clarity Jackson (played by Brenda Braxton), a savvy, self-reliant woman who has all but given up on finding a real man, and is writing a thesis paper on how the term "cougar" has developed as a derogatory term for women. Jackson wonders why a man who dates a younger woman can just be called a man, while a woman who dates a younger man must be pigeonholed as a "cougar," and she sets out to prove her theory of cougars as women who are less than empowered, and certainly not women to be taken seriously.
The show is peppered with witty one-liners and clever banter among the three women themselves as well as versatile actor, Danny Bernardy, who single-handedly plays every male character in the show, and even one female character, all with charm and charisma (not to mention some darling dimples!). As the storylines play out, each woman discovers her own personal strength and independence, and each finds her own story resolved in an unexpected way.
There is no intermission during the show, but the 90-minute performance seems to fly by as quickly as Mary-Marie's latest fling. With so many parody shows on the scene, it is refreshing to see a fairly new off-Broadway musical comedy (previews began in August) that isn't just recycling someone else's music (with one slight exception, a song to the tune of "Hush Little Baby"), but rather pairs judicious lyrics with creative, classy choreography.
Get yourself excited with some preview videos, and then purchase tickets to "Cougar The Musical" while they're still available (today's matinee show was sold out!). Tickets for performances through December 30 may also be available at a discount through at broadwaybox.com.