Intermission: Bedbugs!!!

As we waited for the house lights to go down and Bedbugs!!! to begin, my seat mate turned to me and whispered, “Hey, do you want to really start freaking people out?”  No need to go on, new friend, as I knew exactly what he meant, because it was already going through my head.  We both started our own little theater debut by dramatically itching, and while we did get a few chuckles from the folks around us, it was nothing compared to the laughs that were to follow during the next 2 hours of the show.  Seriously, a new cult comedy just hit NYC, and I, for one, put it well above even the tried and true and much adored Rocky Horror.  Here’s why.


Ever so rarely do you see a show, especially an off-broadway one, where every single aspect of the production is spot on perfection.  From the set design (hello NYC pre-Giuliani!), to the choreography (those dance moves!), to the costumes (completely creepily brilliant!), to each and every performance from the lead down to the backup dancers, these guys were ALL solid A-game the entire time.  Let’s just say they set the bar for off-broadway comedies high, and other shows are going to have a tough time getting it this right.


Bedbugs is a girl-meets-bug sci-fi-rock-musical-comedy, in which Carly, an exterminator, is hell-bent on avenging her mother’s bedbug-related death. In an effort to permanently rid the city of its infestation, she accidentally mutates the pests into an army of human-size, intelligent, carnal creatures out for blood and world domination.

BUT, the fun doesn’t stop there.  Throw in the pop star Dionne (sound familiar to another Canadian star we all know and love?), and you have perhaps one of the best parodies I’ve ever seen in live theater.  Actor Brian Charles Rooney absolutely kills it with his performance.  Carly has a burning hatred for Dionne, because she was up listening to her concert the night her mother was taken by bedbugs…so naturally anytime she hears her crooning voice on the radio she goes mad.


A cautionary tale of toxic love mixed with 80’s nostalgia and classic NYC characters (the Williamsburg hipster who hates being called a hipster, the penny-pinching orthodox Jewish man with 13 kids, the WASPy martini-drinking-at-9am wifey)…this is a must see for everyone, but New Yorkers especially, you’ll have a special place in your heart for this piece of musical theater…us crazy folks in the audience pretending to get all itchy-itchy during the performance certainly did.  Bravo, Bedbugs, bravo!!!  

Are you a fan of cult comedies?  Share your favorite below!


Photo Credit: Rex Bonomelli//Article By: Jessica Tiare Bowen


  • Heather says:

    This sounds absolutely hilarious. I love cult comedies!

  • Tamara says:

    I Love Rocky Horror more than most things. It’s always been a favorite movie of mine since I was 13. Although I first saw it when I was 12 and I was confused and disturbed, but it turned to love.
    This sounds awesome. Can bedbugs really kill?? It just said bedbugs-related death so I’m not too worried.

    • Used York City says:

      Haha, well the bedbugs in this show were life-size, so I’d say we probably don’t have much to worry about in real life;-) But yeah, if you love Rocky Horror, you’ll adore Bedbugs!

  • Karen Eisman says:

    You are spot on!!!!!!! Not to mention the music and book…..

    • Used York City says:

      Yes! How could I forget the music (and obviously the incredibly playwriting?!) Top notch all around!

  • Tracy says:

    I’m so glad this show is getting the recognition it deserves! I’ve seen it three times at the ArcLight theater, and countless times during its showcase, and every time it blows me away. I love watching the audience arrive, seemingly skeptical about seeing a show called Bedbugs, and then watching them crack up and bop their heads to all the songs. The talent of the actors, writers, musicians, producers, and designers is winning everyone over. I hope this wonderful review introduces even more people to Bedbugs!!!

    • Used York City says:

      The audience is sure in for a REAL treat! It was a sold out performance the night I was there, and with as brilliant as the show is, I have no doubt it will continue to be a fabulous run!!!

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