Bring stilettos and a safe word to ‘SPANK! Harder’

2014-02-27T09:00:00Z Bring stilettos and a safe word to ‘SPANK! Harder’LINDSAY CHRISTIANS | The Capital Times | lchristians@madison.com madison.com

At a recent performance of "SPANK! Harder" in Boston, Ben Palacios walked onstage bare-chested, wearing tight black pants and holding a riding crop.

"The audience just went nuts — they just roared," Palacio said. "We hadn’t had an audience that was that bawdy yet. They were just screaming."

Palacios, a well-built 24-year-old currently based out of Los Angeles, is part of the original cast of "SPANK! Harder," set to play Overture’s Capitol Theater Thursday and Friday.

The show, a musical pop culture parody piece and "ladies’ night out" adults-only event, is a sequel to "SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody" which played Capitol Theater last season to three nearly sold-out houses.

Both "SPANK!" shows were freely inspired by "50 Shades of Grey," the first book in a trilogy by E. L. James, soon to be a film set for release in 2015. Disparaged as "mommy porn" born of "Twilight" fan fiction, "50 Shades" burned up the bestseller lists in 2012.

Sensing a moment, that’s when the original "SPANK!" started its tour.

"People love escapism," Palacios said. "That’s why they get a thrill reading a book like ‘50 Shades of Grey.’ These darkly sexual shows and books that are coming out are really successful. There’s this seedy, illicit escapism people love … ‘SPANK! Harder’ and ‘SPANK!’ draw on that, parody it and make fun of it."

Palacios and his three castmates will have been on tour for six weeks when they arrive in Madison. In addition to the naïve young protagonist, Tasha (Shelley Ragner) and Palacios as Grey, there’s also a narrator/author — "E.B. Janet," played by Michelle Miracle — and a new milquetoast love interest, Carter Carnegie (Chris Gustin).

A review of a Feb. 23 tour stop in Buffalo described Carter as "a man so nice that he’s vomit-inducing." Materials for the show have described him as "sweet," "seductive" and, tellingly, "vanilla." He wears his sweater tied around his neck.

The whole cast sings, dances and gyrates their way through the two-hour performance.

"For this second one, they wanted to make it a little more of a musical," said Palacios. "It has seven, eight songs in it, parodies of pop songs like ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele and ‘Wrecking Ball.’"

There are also some "really fun dance numbers where me and the other guy in the show are ripping off our trenchcoats," Palacios said. "Our homework, during rehearsals, was to watch ‘Magic Mike’ and take notes."

"SPANK! Harder" is intended for audiences, primarily women, who are 18 and older. In the lobby, attendees can buy cocktails, chocolate penises and pink shirts that say "Keep calm and spank me."

"Most of the people who come see the show are people who are fans of the book," Palacios said. "It’s giving (both) fans of the book and people who haven’t read it something they’ll enjoy … it takes the fun and sexy and multiplies it by a million."

Copyright 2015 madison.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. adamman
    Report Abuse
    adamman - February 27, 2014 11:15 am






    SPANK! Harder" is intended for audiences, primarily women, who are 18 and older. In the lobby, attendees can buy cocktails, chocolate penises and pink shirts that say "Keep calm and spank me."

    Really? Madison.com? Do I have to put this on Parental Controls?
    Great journalism. Idiots












We provide a valuable forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on posted articles. But there are rules: Don't promote products or services, impersonate other site users, register multiple accounts, threaten or harass others, post vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language. Don't post content that defames or degrades anyone. Don't repost copyrighted material; link to it. In other words, stick to the topic and play nice. Report abuses by clicking the button. Users who break the rules will be banned from commenting. We no longer issue warnings.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

What to do and see in Madison sent to your inbox

Receive an email featuring free tickets to concerts, shows and more.


Get the latest movie buzz, led by The Cap Times' Rob Thomas


Get entertainment highlights & reviews from the staffs at the WSJ and Cap Times.

Get food & drink news and reviews from the WSJ and Cap Times staffs.