It’s not easy being a brassy broad. People expect you to pack a certain amount of panache, sex appeal, comedic timing and, well, controversy.
Ordinary women might crack under the pressure.
But, then again, ordinary women are not gracing the Goldstein Cabaret stage in the Dennis Courtney-directed and choreographed “Brassy Broads: The Next Generation” at Florida Studio Theatre.
Actresses Carly Sakolove, Sadrina Renee and Natalie Renee (no relation) were thrilled when they heard they’d be performing iconic numbers by some of the pluckiest female entertainers in Hollywood, including Bette Midler, Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman, Mae West and Carol Channing.
The revue, which opened Jan. 7, was the perfect fit for all three performers, none of whom seem offended by the term, “broad.”
Instead, they say they’re flattered. And like the feisty doyennes they emulate, they intend to use their feminine wiles to keep audiences captivated throughout the show’s nearly three-month run.
“Who knows,” says Sakolove. “Maybe we’ll be the brassy broads of tomorrow.”
Who are some of the brassy broads you’re channeling for this performance?
Sakolove: “Sophie Tucker and Bette Midler.”
Sadrina Renee: “Eartha Kitt, Marilyn Monroe and a little Tina Turner.”
Natalie Renee: “I don’t really need to channel anybody. I channel myself.”
What makes you a brassy broad?
Natalie Renee: “I’m sassy and sultry and spicy and basically anything that starts with an ‘s.’”
Sakolove: “I’ve always been someone who puts themselves out there. On stage and in my personal life, I’ve never been someone who blends in with the world. I was thrilled when I found out I would get to be myself on stage.”
Sadrina Renee: “I keep getting typecast as these saucy characters. I’m normally really shy.”
Sakolove: “Shy? You?”
Sadrina Renee: “Shy and sarcastic.”
Were you familiar with the music before you read the score?
Sadrina Renee: “I grew up with my grandmother, who was a pretty wild woman. We would listen to many of these women’s albums, so hearing the songs brings back memories. There’s this one, ‘Delta Dawn.’ I sing that one for her.”
What do you get out of performing in a show like this?
Natalie Renee: “It’s the same with any show. I just get up on stage and let everything out. I’m a ridiculous person on stage, so I can be a normal person in real life.”
Sakolove: “It’s like therapy.”
Natalie Renee: “Yeah. It’s better than making everyone else deal with your drama.”
Who are the brassy broads of current pop culture?
Sadrina Renee: “Madonna, Cher … and I hate to say it, but Lady Gaga. She’s just such a character. Nothing she does surprises me.”
Is it harder to be a brassy broad today than it was 50 years ago?
Natalie Renee: “Yes. It’s more of a challenge to shock people.”
Sadrina Renee: “We’re so desensitized to everything.”
Sakolove: “It’s harder these days to push the envelope.”
IF YOU GO
“Brassy Broads: The Next Generation” is up now through March 26, in the Goldstein Cabaret at Florida Studio Theatre. For tickets, call 366-9000 or visit www.floridastudiotheatre.org.
Contact Heidi Kurpiela at [email protected]