The Skivvies – “I Touch My Elf”

The Skivvies – “I Touch My Elf”
Feinstein’s at the Nikko, San Francisco, December 2, 2019

A raucous sold out crowd at Feinstein’s welcomed the alternative Holiday show only The Skivvies can deliver – a delightfully risqué, mashup of pop, rock and Broadway tunes arranged for cello, ukulele, percussion and assorted little-used instruments (glockenspiel, boom whackers and kazoo) with special non-PG lyrics and more than a few bad puns. Oh yeah, The Skivvies as well as their special guests all strip down to their undies. The award-winning duo of Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages, Marry Me a Little, Sweeney Todd) and Nick Cearley (All Shook Up) became YouTube viral sensations with their living room mashups morphing into The Skivvies (a suggestion from Lauren’s boyfriend) in 2012 to critical and popular acclaim.

The Skivvies genre is reminiscent of Weird Al Yankovic’s song parodies combined with a touch of burlesque and biting social satire.  “I Touch My Elf” seamlessly incorporates holiday chestnuts into contemporary pop culture with a smart edge that’s both hilarious and sardonic. The opening number “Joyful Joyful” / “Hot in Herre” is a perfect representation of their art; it’s a mashup of Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (Beethoven), Joy to the World (Trad.) Joyful Joyful (Sister Act 2), Hot in Herre (Nelly), It’s Hot Up Here (Sunday in the Park with George), and Hot Hot Hot (Buster Poindexter).

Eartha Kitt’s sultry Xmas wish in “Santa Baby” (Joan Ellen Javits / Philip Springer / Tony Springer) turns into Lauren’s admission that St. Nick is her father, mashed with Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”. “Ring My Bell” becomes a delightful mix of The Pointer Sisters, “My Dingaling” and even 1950’s Frank Loesser tune “If I Were A Bell” from Guys and Dolls. The craziness continues throughout their set, with the saddest Xmas story of all – “Frosty the Snowman”, whose fate is sealed under a harsh sun sung to Modern English’s “I Melt with You”. Brilliant stuff.

The Skivvies always invite special guests to join in the frivolity, a regular being Nick Adams (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; La Cage Aux Folles; Wicked; A Chorus Line), both a talented actor and a looker in his skivvies. His first appearance is as an exhausted elf, worked too hard during this busy season. His song incorporates Donna Summer’s “She Works Hard for the Money” and Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5”. He returned as Hunky Jesus with a slew of very un-PC but funny one-liners: “I’ve got a big birthday coming up”, “I’m so hungry, can’t remember my Last Supper” and a training regimen that includes ‘CrossFit’. His mashup included a nod to Yankovic’s “Eat It” (Beat It”), Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like a Wolf”, Eric Carmen’s “Hungry Eyes” and Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart”.

Nick Adams plays the naughty elf.

Other guests included member of the touring production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; Lauren Zakrin singing “Blue Christmas” and Nick Hyland doing “Winter Wonderland”, all creative mashups. Lauren and Nick blend their harmonies like old buddies can, feeding their guests and each other setup lines to intro songs. A spoof of Brittany Spears “Toxic” was the only non-mashup before their encore of “Little Drummer Boy” / Go Go’s “We Got the Beat” played with plastic boom whackers.

The Skivvies turn what could be a one-trick gimmick into a slick, well-choreographed musical explosion that always entertains and keeps you trying to one guess which songs can successfully be co-joined with a familiar tune. It’s a smart, bawdy, rollicking good time.