by Adam Cohen . . .

The transformative power of an “I Want” song was dominatingly on display Friday night April 29 at Feinsteins/54 Below presentation of the new musical “The Lap Dance Kid.”  Here, as rendered by Jake Ryan Flynn (Mrs. Doubtfire), the song “In My Bones” details puberty’s grip on young boldly comes to life as starkly as the realization of his parent’s business – running a strip club in 1970’s Denver.   

Adam Blotner

The new show, often hysterical with sharp lyrics and music by Adam Blotner, regales the audience with the challenges of growing up in the shadow of a strip club owner.  Here Mikie (Ryan) navigates middle school bullies and the first blush of girl interest with Barbie (Ava Briglia).  His Bar Mitzvah party makes him the toast of the town replete with strippers in a wild number “The King Bar Tizvah.”  However, this just rouses the ire of the thought police who want to shut the club down and run Sid (Matt Volpe), Mikie’s dad and mom Edna (Allison Posner) out of town.  Thankfully the political opposition is overthrown by the judge (music director Kevin F. Story) frequenting the strip venue and being identified as such by Mikie.   

The show is a pleasant diversion, rife with solid performances and lots of potential on the main stem.  Though audiences got a scant preview of the script with barebones narration, the musicals numbers are lively and cover a variety of genres.  Blotner’s songs vary from klezmer infused Bar Mitzvah, blues, and plenty with belt potential.   

Armed with strong performances from Nic Rouleau, Matt Volpe, Lavon Fisher-Wilson, Allison Posner, Scott Stangland and the chorus of strippers/concerned mothers – Jenny Pinzari, Andrea Arvanigian, Francesca Caviglia and Stephanie Marrow, The Lap Dance Kid is engaging entertainment. 

The cast held infectious joy for the songs.  And the audience got in on the act too, regaling Flynn with cash during one number.Cheers to Feinsteins/54 Below as it champions new shows and new writers.  The Lap Dance Kid is a fun evening that will make audiences happy and keep them entertained for a long time.  Hopefully it gets a longer run soon.