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EMAV Review: Ruthless laughter

Updated: Mar 8, 2019

★★★★½ - Delicious

What do you think of when you think killer comedy? When’s the last time you saw murder and thought it to be belly-laugh hilarious? In 1993, “Ruthless! The Musical” (book and lyrics by Joel Paley, music by Marvin Laird) was nominated for the Drama Desk Award and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical.

During tough times in this country, society has always turned to entertainment. We collectively look for something to take our minds off the troubles of the world, something to make us laugh.

Under the direction of Rob Kastil, that’s precisely what happens with the current production at Las Vegas Little Theatre (LVLT). He has assembled quite the talented cast and ensured the tongue is firmly planted in the cheek. This show is campy and outrageous, and it works.

Teah DeStefano is close to perfect in the title role of Tina Denmark. She can sing, dance, act, and displays impeccable timing. Adorable in all the right places. Then she blurts out “Fuck that!” and rather than elicit shock, she makes you roar with laughter. DeStefano misses a high note here or there, but Musical Director Susan Easter could’ve easily avoided that by taking those down and still retained the necessary punch.