Wild Women of Planet Wongo @ Parkside Lounge

Queen Rita of Planet Wongo played by Amanda Nicholas
Queen Rita of Planet Wongo played by Amanda Nicholas

When people ask, “What’s so great about New York?” the answer comes down to how this city uncannily combines creativity, variety and ambition with a little wackiness at almost every turn. Which is exactly what Wild Women of Planet Wongo brings to its audiences.

The 60s-esque, sci-fi show, written by Steve Mackes and directed by David Rigano, takes place in a back room of the deliciously dive-y Parkside Lounge in the Lower East Side. It’s a tight space, where audience members are in close contact with the cast. (Be sure to get there early so you have time to get your free Wongotini and grab a seat, otherwise you’ll be standing for the entire performance.)

The musical begins when a pair of male astronauts (hilariously played by Miki Hellerbach and Louie LaFever) crash onto a planet and quickly learn it’s inhabited solely by women. Of course these aren’t just any women; they’re wild Wongettes, and as luck would have it, have never even seen men before. As the astronauts wait for their spaceship’s operating system, Hermie, to assist with their escape, they find themselves at the mercy of the scantily-clad women and their sexy queen (the convincingly conniving Amanda Nicholas). Whether or not the men will make it off the planet all boils down to what goes down at the lively Wongo Wuau.

The play has a ton of energy with lots of catchy tunes and amusing dancing. (Wongette Jenna Marcello especially had me in stitches). There are also opportunities for audience participation if you’re so inclined. Bring a Bumble date, and see how weird they’re willing to get. If they’re up for this, they’re probably a keeper.

Ticket and schedule information can be found at www.PlanetWongo.com.

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