Where can you see your favorite mystery-solving gang run around in a creepy old hotel with Cher, Chaz Bono, Kris Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner? At the latest show performing at Mary’s Attic (5400 N. Clark St.), “Skooby Don’t.” This amazing parody from Hell in a Handbag Productions features your favorite childhood cartoons all grown-up, and time has not been good to them.
Velva (a parody of the classic character Velma) is an obnoxiously vocal, politically correct Bernie Sanders supporter who convinces her friends Fredd, Scaggy and Daffy, and their dog Skooby, to visit her aunt’s hotel. Velva fails to mention that her aunt is Cher. Cher’s son, Chaz, works for his mother as the bellhop for the hotel, where two guests are trying to launch a reality TV show. Those guests are none other than Kris and Caitlyn Jenner.
Skooby and his crew spend the wholenight investigating a monster in the hotel while discussing the ins and outs of gender, identity, sexuality, body image and political correctness. While investigating the hotel’s eerie hallways, the characters take turns sharing their struggles and challenges of living in a modern world.
David Cerda, the playwright and artistic director of the show, has cleverly recreated these childhood characters, giving them quirks and flaws that make them relatable and relevant. The actors portraying the “meddling kids and their dumb dog” have perfected their impressions of the original characters. Josh Kemper, who plays Scaggy, does exceptionally well in delivering Shaggy’s infamous cracking teenage-boy voice. Ed Jones, who plays Cher, also does a magnificent impression of the singer.
The show is put on in a small theater, but the intelligently designed set maximizes the space, allowing room for the classic running montages. The work of set designer Brad Caleb Lee is not only beautiful and realistic, but it also captures the aesthetic originated by Cartoon Network. “The Gang” looked identical to their animated counterparts, and as Cher, Kris and Caitlyn undergo costume changes, their outfits became increasingly extravagant. For a fun night and a few hours of laughter, make sure you see “Skooby Don’t!”
“Skooby Don’t” runs through Nov. 4. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the show begins at 7:30 p.m., and on Sundays, it begins at 6:30 p.m. No performance will be held on Sunday, Oct. 16, but there will be an extra performance on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m. Regular tickets cost $28 in advance and $30 at the door. VIP tickets, which include cocktails and special seating, are $42 and up. Purchase tickets by visiting www.handbagproductions.org or calling (800) 838-3006.