Four female friends, each with their unique personalities, live and love while negotiating the complexities of shoe shopping, brunches, and, of course, men. Now, substitute “shoe shopping” with “trombone playing” and “brunches” with “hiding Pepito’s dead body” (keep the men though), and you have the tip of the proverbial iceberg with Slapstick Slavic Cabaret, Circus Finelli’s latest production.

Irreverent, upbeat, and, at moments, brilliantly funny, Slapstick Slavic Cabaret’s Luz (pronounced “Luce”) Gaxiola is one of the most talented performers I have seen in years. She plays the trombone, the piano, and the accordion — the last while also balancing on a platform over a small barrel playing a standing cymbal and shooting a cap pistol.

The show, however, is not simply about musical trickery, it’s a series of wickedly funny sketches that are smart and wonderfully dark. Madame Vinaigrette (Verka Zaskodna), the Grand Dame, grounds the show with her rugged, Dietrich-esque brand of maternity. A seeming nymphomaniac, she plucks men out of their seats during the show only to have them return in a state of dishabille. The flexible and preening Carmelita (Molly Shannon) is a sight to behold in her costume designed by a stage mother who may or may not have been Patsy Ramsay.

Spoiler alert: There is routine in which Luz, manipulating a marionette at a toy piano while singin Lil’ Wayne’s “Lick Me Like A Lilipop” that is worth twice the amount of admission.

Circus Finelli: Slapstick Slavic Cabaret
Stage Werx
533 Sutter Street, SF
Fridays Saturdays and Sundays
June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 – 8pm
Tickets $15, $12 students & seniors

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