When the "erotic romance" Fifty Shades of Grey became an unanticipated bestseller, there was a good deal of critical hand-wringing over the book's explicit depictions of sexual fetishes. Despite cultural guardians arguing that lasciviously detailed kinks were no substitute for literary merit, the book became a publishing phenomenon, breaking sales records and spawning two no-less risqué sequels. Vividly envisioning James sipping chardonnay while unleashing her wildest fantasies onto the page, SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody spoofs the author's creative process with enough amplified salaciousness to power Sex World for a week. Featuring a three-person cast, SPANK! allows the audience to play voyeur as James's increasingly steamy daydreams are enacted with the heightened yearning of a Harlequin romance — albeit one in which the characters are prone to donning bondage gear. While the scenario may read superficially as a string of bawdy jokes, writer/director Jim Millan has a history with inspired absurdity, having performed directorial duties with famed sketch comics the Kids in the Hall. Whether experienced in the subject matter or not, SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody is bound to have audiences achieving simultaneous comic ecstasy.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 7 & 10 p.m. Starts: Sept. 24. Continues through Sept. 28, 2013