Theater Review: Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody

“Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody” took to the stage at Stephens Auditorium. The play featured a middle-aged woman desperate to finish her romantic novel involving a young woman and an older gentleman. The young woman, played by Danielle Trzcinski, and the older gentlemen, played by David Raposo, meet and are written into action with the help of the audience.

Melissa Garrett

“Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody” provided a night filled with sexual humor and quick-witted comedians who personalized the show to the Ames audience.

With Iowa State references and stereotypical Iowa humor — like plaid shirts and corn jokes — Amanda Barker, who plays narrator E.B. Janet, engages the audience to laugh with and at her as she types away at a keyboard to bring the story of Hugh Hanson, played by David Raposo, and Tasha Wood, played by Nicole Trzcinski, to life.

With every minute came a new joke or sexual reference making the audience hoot and holler. Barker is hysterical as the narrator and often made sexual jokes — even gesturing at herself seductively to contribute to the hilarity of her narration. Barker engaged the crowd from start to finish, which works to keep the attendees included in the humor. Actors personalized the show by referring to audience-specific jokes and incorporated those jokes into character dialogue and scenarios.

Raposo’s Hugh Hanson was a major crowd pleaser. From the moment he emerged onto the stage, he charmed the women of the audience with his sensual striptease routines and ease of humor. Hooting and hollering was audible throughout his routines, whether it was Batman-themed or more of a classic Chippendale dance number. Whatever he wore, or didn’t wear, Raposo is worthy of attention as both a comedian and the lead male actor and perfectly parodies the controlling lover role.

Danielle Trzcinski played the lovable ingenue who falls for Hugh Hanson’s sexual advances, all of which are comedic and filled with hilarious innuendos. From Twilight humor to ridiculously funny pick up lines, Trzcinski’s chemistry with Raposo is on point and utterly priceless when they team up on stage. Trzcinski went into the audience with a microphone and interacted with men and women, where she came up with questions on the spot. This is one of the most entertaining aspects of the show, since not even the actors know how the audience will react or answer their questions.

What I loved about “Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody” was the narrator’s interaction with the characters she created. Barker actively participated in the play as a sort of omnipotent presence, who toyed with her characters, often mouthing their dialogue as she typed out the story and planned out their next sexual encounter. Barker made fun of her characters as well as what she was writing about, which added to the humor of the play.

The singing in the show contributed even more to the humor. Lyrics were clearly sung and contributed to the sexual theme of the play. The actors made great use of the stage and were careful not to be offstage for too long. The front row audience members were rewarded with intimacy with the actors. The cast often looked to the front few rows for additional joke material, involving them in the question and answer moments during the show.

“Spank!” was preceded by complimentary chocolate and wine from Chocolaterie Stam and Snus Hill Winery, which was a perfect combination and addition to an already spectacular show. Whether audience members came with friends or their significant others, “Spank!” was the perfect date night or girls night and entertained everyone in attendance.