Girls night or date night? It’s Time to Get Spank!-d!


Courtesy of Iowa State Center

Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, at CY Stephens Auditorium.

Melissa Garrett

In the hilarious new musical, the cast of Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody brings adult humor and saucy romance to CY Stephens Auditorium Oct. 23 in Mills Entertainment’s parody of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey.

With three main characters, Amanda Barker plays E.B. Janet, Spank!’s narrator, and a few other characters. Barker’s character addresses the audience within the first 30 seconds of the show and invites them to help her write the story of Tasha Woode and Hugh Hansen. 

Actors still work from a script, but Barker says there are several improvised elements in the show that open up the conversation to the audience.

“We are able to make it our own and tailor it to the venue we are in as well. I think that’s one of the reasons this show has been so successful,” Barker said. “There is a lot of improv in the show.”

Barker describes the show, running for two years now, as quite a phenomenon and recalls what it was like to sit down with the script for the first time.  

“I’ll never forget sitting at Starbucks [reading the script] and laughing literally out loud,” says Barker. “I remember the final scene and spitting out my coffee, I was laughing so hard.”

Whether you have read the Fifty Shades of Grey series or not, the show is perfect for anyone who wants to laugh and makes for an interesting date night or girls night.

“A show like Spank!, just knowing that the book is popular, will be a fairly recognizable title,” said Patti Cotter, development and sponsorship manager for the Iowa State Center. “We’ve had some good luck with comedy, [so] we thought this would be a very fun, lighthearted theater piece to put on the series.”

Thrilled to be back in Iowa, Barker says the response from the audience has always been amazing.

“This is sort of the show for women in America,” said Barker. “It really has become a celebration of women in America and an opportunity to have a girls night out.”

Before the show begins, local businesses, including Chocolaterie Stam and Snus Hill Winery, will offer chocolate and wine samples to audience members.

“We’ve worked with [Chocolaterie Stam and Snus Hill Winery] before, and it’s just very generous of them to offer samples to our audience,” Cotter said. “We like enhancing the experience for the audience [and] we’re grateful to both of them for having a free sample night for Spank!

“If you want to laugh, come to Spank! It’s as simple as that,” Barker said. “We go there: we’re body, we’re fun, we’re sexual, we’re hilarious, we’re out of the box and most importantly we’re local so we’ll make it about you.”

Spank! The Fifty Shades parody will perform on Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in CY Stephens Auditorium. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and are available for purchase at the Stephens Auditorium ticket office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information on Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody, visit Spank!’s website. For ticket information and prices, see the Iowa State Center’s webpage for Spank!