I don’t think there is a person alive that hasn’t heard the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” As for myself, I prefer “Laughter is the best medicine.” Laughter may not have the ability to cure all ailments, but it definitely heals the soul. And a prescription filled with laughs is what the members of the audience at The Little Shubert Theatre will receive when they view Under My Skin.
Taking cues from Switch, Big and Freaky Friday, Under My Skin adds a whole new chapter to the old body exchange tale. So here’s the story… Mr. Harrison Badish III is the CEO of Amalgamated Healthcare, the nation’s leading healthcare provider. He’s a cold, shrewd business man who cares more about making money for the company than making a difference or knowing his employees, one of whom is Melody Dent. Melody is a single mom from Staten Island who works part-time at Amalgamated with her best friend Nanette. Both she and Nanette had a problem being seen by Badish until one fateful day when a cup of coffee sets off a chain of events that leads to Melody and Harrison coming face to face with an angel. The angel, compassionate to their pleas, decides to bring them back to life, but there is a catch, their souls are placed into the wrong bodies. And while the pair waits for the angel to switch them back, they discover what life is really like for each other and learn more about the trials and tribulations of the opposite sex. By the time Melody and Harrison are themselves again, they realize they can’t live without each other.
Cheeky and chock full of humor, Under My Skin lodges itself directly into the marrow of the audience’s funny bone. Husband and wife writing team Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser harmoniously weave comedy and social commentary with this production. The good ole “make ‘em laugh” approach is a tried and true method of slipping in points of view that require introspection. Along with adding new layers to the age old battle of the sexes debate, they also weigh in on the state of healthcare, or lack thereof, in our nation and how it affects the everyday, working American.
The neon lights of Broadway do burn bright. But sometimes they shine even brighter Off-Broadway. Under My Skin is one of the most dynamic shows I’ve seen in a while. If you find yourself on 42nd Street, take a walk down to The Little Shubert Theatre for an thoroughly enjoyable 90-minute laugh-fest.
Photos: Joan Marcus