My bondage and my freakdom

By Kali Jo Wolkow
Wharton gets kinky with \"50 Shades!,\" a musical spoof of the provocative book series. Courtesy photo.

Musical spoof of lurid bestseller wiggles into Wharton

Thursday, June 20 — It’s a touring musical spoof of a bondage-themed fanfic that was, in turn, based on characters from the “Twilight” craze. Call it “Six Degrees of Team Edward.”

“50 Shades! The Musical” is an original production by the musical improv troupe Baby Wants Candy that takes skewers E. L. James’ viral novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It follows a trio of past-their-prime book clubbers who read James’ kinky tale of alpha male Christian Grey’s indoctrination of neophyte Ana Steele into the kinky world of bondage sex.

Spencer Rose appeared as Jenny the Music Teacher in the 2008-‘09 national tour of “Sesame Street Live! Elmo Makes Music.” She takes the stage as Pam, one of the romance-starved bookies over whom audience members get to engage in a little schedenfreude.

Rose said that she and the other actors playing the book club members are the audience’s connection to the story, and will be accessible to people who may not have read the book. Rose said the show isn’t vulgar or overly crass, just “good, dirty fun.”

“The humor never goes dry,” she said. “And the show is always changing.” So much so, even she has difficulty keeping a straight face at times.

“Many actors in the show are brilliant improv comedians,” Rose said. “Sometimes, someone will just crack a joke they’ve never tried out before, and we’ll have to try to hold it in until we get offstage. I swear to God, it’s so funny. We never know what someone is going to say.”

Even Rose’s old colleague Oscar the Grouch would probably be caught grinning.

“50 Shades! The Musical”

Wharton Center

8 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday