SparkleFEST 2000

Esquivel plays, the backdrop glitters, attendants traipse through the crowd dispensing Jell-O jigglers in the shape of hearts and stars— it's ultralounge as broadcast by the Cartoon Network. Welcome to the world of the New Wondertwins, a distaff duo specializing in scatological musical comedy.

The twins emerge in foamy space suits and wraparound shades. Stepping up to matching mikes, Donk (Susan Blackwell) and Smackdown (Rebecca Finnegan) announce their mission: to save us from the imminent destruction of earth, "to delight, entertain, and kick your collective ass."

In the first moments of the show, directed by Gary Schwartz, it seems likely the twins will do just that. They establish strong, clear characters, engage in amusing banter with their silver-suited backup band, let a term like the "hologramatron" positively trip off their tongues. Yet, too soon, they leave the spaceship behind and venture into far more dangerous territory— sketch comedy. Neither their demonstration of techniques learned at Miss Vicki Lynn Dickens' Academy of Tap and Jazz, nor their third-grade rap, nor their extended satire of musical theater (which includes highlights from the smash show Retarded Girl) resonates the way their outer-space shtick does.

Though this middle portion of the show proves uneven, these spacechicks know how to go out with a bang. Their wordless finale, orchestrated to a space-age bachelor-pad soundtrack, is a tour de force of fascination and horror: never have soy milk and deviled eggs been used to such loathsome effect.

 
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