By Michael “Buzz” Buzzelli, ‘Burgh Vivant
The critically acclaimed scantily-clad Indie-pop duo, the Skivvies, returned to Pittsburgh to prove that Christmas is best when it’s both naughty and nice in their holiday offering, “Sleigh My Name.”
Nick Cearley (Off-Broadway’s “Sex Tips Straight Women from a Gay Man”) and Lauren Molina (a member of the original cast of Broadway’s “Rock of Ages”) stripped down to their knickers once again for a festive occasion, and what charming underclothes they both have!
Side note: The musical duo once starred as Brad and Janet in “The Rocky Horror Show” at the Bucks County Playhouse. They’ve been disrobing in front of audiences ever since (with nary a Magenta or Columbia in sight).
Cearley and Molina are extremely talented and probably don’t need the gimmick, however, the nearly-naked derrieres gets people into the theater. Their butts get butts in the seats. At “Sleigh My Name,” the duo sang Christmas favorites – with their own decidedly different twist.
The Skivvies sing and play a variety of musical instruments, including the glockenspiel. Mostly, Cearley plays the ukulele and Molina plays the cello, but it’s their silly “Will & Grace” repartee that will charm you. Cearley and Molina were backed up by local drummer Jacob Beck – also appearing on stage in his briefs. Can I get an “Oh myyyy!”
Cearley and Molina are kind enough to share their stage with additional local talents, such as Hope Anthony, Ryan Patrick Kearney, Becki Toth, Daina Michelle Griffith, Jason Shavers (recently seen at the City Theatre in “Wild with Happy”), Michael McGurk and HGTV’s Paige Davis. There was even an appearance from Santa – local director Stephen Santa (appropriately attired as an elf).
Brava to Anthony who belted out a medley of dance hits, awarding the buxom chanteuse high diva points, setting an impossibly high standard for the entertainers who followed her. As luck would have it, her follow guest stars were up to the task.
Griffith strolled down memory lane with former high school classmate, Cearley. She had an under garment designed to commemorate the occasion – their prom picture plastered on a white t-shirt. Griffith then proceeded to sing, reminding the crowd how she earned her title as 2013’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Performer of the Year
Toth was another highlight. She crushed it, giving the evening a slight operatic flair.
Kearney provided additional belly laughs. Kearney’s songs were built around him believing his father was St. Nick, weaving “I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus” into his medley.
The Skivvies served cheesecake and beefcake in equal measure, but Broadway performer and native Pittsburgher McGurk (“The Wedding Singer,” “The Music Man” etc.) was probably the most scantily-clad in an evening of scantily-clad individuals.
Before the Skivvies even took to the stage, musical improv duo babyGRAND (Connor McCanlus and Missy Moreno) came out and wowed the crowd, creating a short musical play on the spot based on audience suggestion. They were accompanied by James Andrzej Rushin on paino and Aaron Tarnow on bongos.
Ironically, the evening was punctuated with an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, proving it’s better to be wearing less than more, especially if it’s sweater depicting Jesus high-fiving Santa Claus or a Christmas-clad farm animal on your person.
While the Skivvies are singing for adults, they appeal to the child inside all of us. The next time they roll into town, the Skivvies need to be on your Christmas list (or your “Must See” list depending on the time of year).