Actress, writer and producer Danielle Trzcinski is bringing her fun musical comedy Little Black Dress to the Chrysler Theatre in Windsor and she’s hoping to see all the ladies in the house wearing their own little black dresses. The show plays for one night only on Saturday, Feb. 8.
The story tells of best friends Mandy and Dee, who experience major life events in their little black dresses – job interviews, first dates, first awkward sexual experiences, first funerals and more. It’s a night out for the ladies, but the show is entertaining for men as well.
Fans might remember seeing Trzcinski in the surprise hit Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody! for which she wrote one of the songs, “Please Don’t Spank My Butt”. The New York actress is excited to visit Windsor for the first time.
Can you tell me about Little Black Dress? Sounds like a lot of fun.
It is the most fun you’ll ever have in this year. Yeah, it’s a fearlessly funny girl’s night out musical about two girls, Mandy and G going through life together in their Little Black Dress and all the funny and hilarious things that happen in their life as well as the show has a lot of hearts as well.
What inspired the story of Little Black Dress?
Yeah, so basically I was on tour with a show called Spanx, the 50 shades of gray parody, and I thought this show would be just three weeks, black box theaters. And it was three years, 1000, 2000 seat houses. So I was on tour with Amanda Barker and we saw this audience that we didn’t know existed which were women who likes to go to the theater and party. But we realized there wasn’t really a lot of shows out there for them. And a lot of the shows that are for women are written by men. So we decided we wanted to write something for the same audience, but where the female characters were smart and strong and funny and real women talking about real life experiences, the way that things actually happened. And so I got together some writers, Natalie Tenenbaum who wrote the vocal arranger for mean girls on Broadway.
She wrote the music and then Chris bonds, he’s the writer of evil dead, the musical. And the four of us wrote Little Black Dress. And it’s something that is so unique because it’s a full original musical, which that doesn’t happen a lot with girls night out shows. They’re usually two bucks a shows and it’s a full, original musical that also has improv and audience participation.
And then we also do a lot of local jokes too. So every single show is different. every night you will never see the same show.
So with comedy, usually it involves some sort of personal element. Is there a part of Little Black Dress that resembles your life or the life of someone close to you? Is there a part of a D in you, for example?
Well, 100%, because my name is Danielle and the character’s name is D. And yeah, I mean a lot of the stories and songs are based off of experiences that I’ve had. I mean, I even literally this story of where I lose my virginity is, I mean like word for word is what happened. And sometimes people get a little thrown by that song and they’re like, Oh my God. And I’m like, but that’s what happens. I mean that’s how horrible, it’s so awkward and uncomfortable. Obviously, I mean that’s most women first time when they lose their virginity.
But yeah, I mean a lot of the experiences are experiences from my life. And they’re right put on stage. Well, I hear a lot of women say, this has so much heart. I was expecting to just laugh and have a good time. And I actually cried and felt really good and really appreciated the women in my life. And I also laughed a lot. But a lot of women will say to me, I’ve never seen a story told so relatable and real and I think it’s because real show, real life experiences. And I didn’t like sugarcoat it at all.
So this is kind of like a live chick flick, But anybody can watch it. It’s not just women.
Yeah, no men love the show. I mean, we’ve had so many men come up to us and say, I wish that I had known that I wouldn’t have been so resistant. But I thought it was just as funny as my wife said. And we got an amazing email the other day from this guy who said, I just wanted to say thank you for writing this because my wife and I have been stuck in this routine of just working and taking care of the kids. And I tried to find something fun for us to do and I just saw this on a whim, bought the tickets, and it was the most fun we’ve had out in a very, very long time. So thank you. And I just was like, yeah, I mean it’s been incredible the response that people who have seen the show, they love the show. I feel very lucky as a writer.
I hear there’s a scene in the show that involves a male stripper that must be fun for you every night. wink, wink.
It is. I mean, you know what’s so funny is that originally when we wrote the show, now my drag, I was coming off of Spanx. So I mean that’s 50 shades of gray parodies. So I knew that women loved this sexy male character, right? So I was like, we definitely have to have this guy in it. And then when we wrote the show, we really thought that was going to be the main focal point of women being like, oh, it was so hot, it was so funny. And women were like, I mean, Clint, he’s our male character. He plays over 12 different roles. And so at the end people were more focused on like, Holy crap, he’s so talented. He played all these characters and I thought there was more men in the show.
He played so many different people. But at the end of the day, I will say, I mean, yeah, it’s really fun having him to show he’s so talented and such a good person to work with on and off the stage. So it’s funny because I don’t even think of him as a stripper, but women love him. I mean, he’s such a good guy, a great performer and actor. But yeah, I mean women love it and honestly that’s one of the parts of the show where we bring an audience member on stage when the stripper comes out. So that’s always really fun to see how these women react when we bring them on stage and he comes out as a cop.
With the elements of improv in the show, which is, that’s very unique in a theater show, improv has there ever gotten a point where it’s gotten out of control?
Yes. There was one woman, I think she was in LA. I mean the audience improv is everyone’s favourite part, including the cast because it makes it different for us every night. We have no idea what people are going to say. And it always ends up being more interesting than even things that I could write. But one time, because there are a girls night out show a lot of times limit, they like to drink a bit before the show and during the show. And one time we pulled the woman on stage and she got a little too excited about the stripper. And it was wild. I mean, yeah, she just had been drinking way too much. I don’t know if she regrets this, do you regret it? Because she was on stage in front of 300 people.
Yeah, because of that, the stripper, he has to keep kind of a distance from the audience member because of that night, he no longer even kind of goes even close to these women. It was wild, but it was fun at the time and like, but that one was too wild. She was too wild, too drunk and we couldn’t even like stay in focus. We were like, focus lady. She was chasing him. Anyway now we have safety procedures. But for the majority and we’ve done, I think we’re on our 25th city. I think the audience participation is always our favourite. Always the most fun, always a blast.
Now I can’t talk to the writer of Please Don’t Spank My Butt without talking about the song. You must love writing songs like that.
I do. Harmony with hearts is typically what I write. And I also kind of like to be a little bit edgy. But please don’t spank my butt. Did you read 50 shades of gray? Did you read that script.
Okay. So basically that song came about because I was in Spanx, the 50 shades of gray parody and at the time, they were using pre-existing songs and just writing new lyrics for it. And there was a song in the show and someone found out and they were like, you can no longer use that song. And the producers were like, what are we going to do? What are we going to do? And then I called my friend Natalie, the composer, now of Little Black Dress, but I called her and I’m like, hey, if I send you lyrics, can you give me music and I need it like tonight.
She was like, yeah. And then I sent her the lyrics and then she sent me back the music and then I recorded it and I sent it to the producers and the song in the show that I played. But I knew because I had the freedom to write whatever I wanted in terms of not having to fit it into a pre-existing song that it just so happened to be was my song, Anastasia’s her big song of the night. And I don’t know if you remember Christian Grey, for kind of her, first stopping point was when he spanked her too hard.
I like you because like don’t spank me. So that was the name of the song. And that was her come to Jesus moment where she was like, I really like him but please just don’t spank my butt. And then she realizes he just can’t. But it’s so funny because that song, the show got licensed internationally and someone sent me the song of someone singing it in Polish. So you never know. I mean if someone had asked me, would you think this would be part of your life? No absolutely not, but here I am.
Tell me about the music in the show, the other songs in that one.
Yeah, I mean the songs are amazing. Natalie Tenenbaum, a genius. They are techy and uplifting and fun and contemporary and is like the history of how the Little Black Dress came about. So it’s kind of a nice, I don’t want to say learning song, but that was probably our most I don’t want to say pain because I also don’t want to scare people. But our most musical theater song I’ll say. And then we have everything from well I have to be honest with you, this show, people sometimes think it’s a little too edgy, so I don’t know. I don’t want to scare people away. But Detroit was crazy when they saw the show. They’re wild audience, so they liked the dirtier stuff.
So some of the songs are so drunk, which is the bachelorette party and there’s just getting so drunk. Power of the dress talks about how powerful and confident and sexy it makes you feel. And at that point of the show, she’s not wearing the dress and all these bad things keep happening to her and she’s not able to stand up for herself. And then she puts the dress on and she just like, it’s this incredibly powerful woman who just like tells it like it is. It gives you the confidence to like be her truest self.
Love, love, love is the song. Where it talks about kind of the history of when people get together. So it’s like, you first get married and you’re making love all the time and then two years in like you’re still pretty much making love and then by like a couple of years, wait, it’s first honeymoon’s love of love and you’re first married the first year of your life, like a lot of love and passion and then two years in the line you’re like working on the house and then you’re like, just trying to find time maybe on the weekends. Everyone loves… and then they realize after that they’re like, I’d rather have eight hours of sleep.
They’re like, that sounds to me like this is good as an orgasm. So everyone loses their mind on that one. They love that one. And then having a baby is easy. Is talked about how the difference between TV birth versus real birth. So how on TV they make it seem like it’s like so easy and quick and then real life about how horrible and painful and long it is. So those are a few of the highlights. I’m trying to think what else is there. Tequila to my lime is like that’s what my best friend Mandy is to me. She’s the tequila to my lime. She’s my Amazon prime. Yeah, there’s been a few of the highlights that, let me see. There’s 18 songs in the show. But the songs are amazing. I mean they’re really, really fun. And I wrote every single one. Natalie and I wrote everyone together, but I have to give her credit, the music is insane. She works on Broadway, so yeah.
You’re headed here to Windsor this week; you’ll be here on Saturday. Have you ever been here before? And if so, do you have any or do you remember any from your last visit, anything?
I don’t think I’ve been to Windsor. We went to Detroit is the closest we’ve been.
Just across the water.
I haven’t been to Windsor, but I have been to Canada and I mean, half of our writing team is Canadian. So we workshop the show in Canada. We opened in Toronto at the Mirvish theater. So I mean, Spanx was written by Canadians and was based out of Canada. And then my very first commercial, which was a lube commercial, was Canadian. So I love Canada. I’ve had more opportunities in Canada, I think than America. I haven’t been specifically to Windsor, but I’m so excited to go to Windsor. And honestly, so many women in Detroit loved the show that they’re coming to Windsor, because they loved it so much and Windsor is so close. So I’m pretty excited to play Windsor.
Little Black Dress performs at Chrysler Theatre on Saturday, February 8 at 8pm. Tickets start at $45 at https://www.chryslertheatre.com/