‘Under My Skin’ Grates on the Nerves

Under my SkinThere’s a lot of drag, literally and figuratively, on and off Broadway these days. ’Under My Skin’ fits into both categories. This is a ridiculous play written by the team who brought us The Nanny – another shrill, over-the-top show I could never watch.

In ‘Under My Skin’ an egomaniacal boss of a medical insurance company and a ditzy temporary secretary die in an elevator accident.  An inept angel, the only role with a few funny lines, resurrects them into the wrong bodies. So Matt Walton, as Harrison Badish III, gets to walk around in dresses and teeter on high heels. He becomes Melody and must take care of an aging, demented father and teenage daughter. Kerry Butler, as Melody Dent, becomes Mr. Badish. Dressed in an over-size business suit she tries to run a multi-million dollar company and satisfy a fiancée and shareholders. It is silly beyond words and a waste of talent.

Although there is an attempt to make some points about office sexual politics, they seem dated… women in the workplace being  treated as incompetent, bosses getting away with sexual harassment, women marrying their way to the top…But the big point (drum roll please) is that the health care insurance industry is broken and unfair. Who doesn’t know that?

Unfortunately, the characters are such caricatures that the play is nothing more than cloying. Any political message gets lost in the nonsense. Other than the few times the angel was on stage this play was a drag.

The play ran in Los Angeles in 2012 and was panned by the critics. I am surprised that anyone would try resurrect it. I paid $4 to see this play and I am usually of the opinion that any live theater is worth $4. Not this play! LAR

22 West 42nd Street, Opens May 15, 2014

Discounts available at Theatermania: http://www.theatermania.com/off-broadway/discount-tickets/under-my-skin_302516/


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