Hell Hole Honeys, written by Ben Budick, Steve Mackes & David Ogrin opened Thursday at Buffalo’s Alleyway Theatre and continues through May 9th. This World Premiere Musical is directed by Todd Warfield.
The show begins as cable access journalist Mary Jo Huntsinger (Kim Piazza) is jailed for refusing to reveal her source in a controversial story. MJ’s investigation uncovered city corruption, making her the target of the powerful people she crossed.
Naive young MJ is thrust into Bellpole Women’s Maximum Security Prison and quickly learns to adapt. Her fellow inmates appear to be hardened and heartless, but most are just afraid and making the best of what is sure to be their home for some time to come.
Cutter (Stephanie Bax) shines as MJ’s deranged cellmate. Her crazy behavior is mostly her method for coping with a disturbing childhood. She tells MJ her story and soon becomes her protector and confidant.
Scratch (Victoria Perez) is the tough chick on the cell block. She chose the wrong man and took the fall for his crime. Tragically, she was pregnant when jailed and her daughter is being raised without her. Scratch is willing to do anything the corrupt Warden Beaumont (Jeff Coyle) asks of her hoping to get out to raise her child.
B_tch (Mercedes), Ho (Jasmine Ramos) and Squeaky (Kate Wolff) round out the cellblock. The song “B_tches and Hos” is one of the musical highlights of the evening. The music, under the direction of Michael Hake crossed a wide range of styles from rap to ballads and was consistently well done.
“Most of the cast has worked with me before,” said Warfield, “But, Jasmine Ramos and Kate Wolff are making their professional debut.”
Warfield makes remarkable use of the small Alleyway space, with jail cells hung on a scaffold base and a couple of moving set pieces.
The show is bawdy throughout, not suited for children or teens, but a fun night of adult entertainment.
Hell Hole Honeys continues through May 9. Contact Alleyway theatre at 716-852-2600 or http://www.alleyway.com for tickets and information.