Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mel & El

I'm interrupting the posts about Rome to bring you news of a show that just opened that you may want to go see: Mel & El {Show and Tell} Oh yes - it rhymes: that's kind of a theme for them. It's happening at Ars Nova (way west on 54th Street - by where they shoot Colbert) and it's running through May 30. I know, I know, I haven't given you enough notice. Leave me alone - things have been hectic.

The basic deal with this show is that Mel & El (Melanie Adelman and Ellie Dvorkin) have known each other since they were about 12 - for reals, yo. And they've been making up shows about it for a while now. If you are (or were) a girl, or happen to know any girls, you may be aware of this phenomenon wherein girls get together and sing and dance just for fun. They may reenact pop songs and/or tv commercials. They may even make up some of their own. And as they get a little older, the material they come up with gets a little... randier. This tends to happen in bedrooms but has been known to occur in other locales as well (the singing and dancing, silly - get your mind out of the gutter!) I haven't really done my homework on the subject, but I think this happens kinda all the time. Certainly it happened with Mel & El, and they're here to tell you all about it. And sing about it, and dance about it. I'm tempted to say they just started out making up these skits in their bedrooms and just never stopped, but that doesn't do them justice: they are trained singer/actors and have been developing this show for years. And it's really good! They have recreated that bedroom ('80s-style, dubbed the Little Pink Box, walls covered with photos and posters of all your favorite pop icons of the era. Well, maybe not all. I didn't see any Billy Idol, but the decade is well represented.) The show is witty and vibrant and clever and creative - and very funny. It is immediately engaging, even before they step on the stage: the set really is a blast, it establishes the scene and entertains you all on its own. And then the performers show up and blow the doors off the joint with their energy and talent.

Sadly, there aren't really any photos of the show, or any current ones of the duo, available online to speak of, so I can't offer up any visual stimulation. But I think you should consider checking this show out, especially if you have an affinity for musical theater and/or pop culture of the 80s. Ars Nova is a great spot too - good space, high quality original programming, I've done a bit of work there myself. Last but not least, if you're strapped for cash, I think there are some ticket discounts floating around out there too.

If you want an advance peek, here are Mel & El riffing backstage with the creative team.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Hey Mick!
Thanks for your great comments on MEL & EL! I have tons of amazing photos and even some free ticket vouchers if you're interested! Email me at
Ars Nova