Bawdy cabaret show was a hit in New York


By GUY D’ASTOLFO

dastolfo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

“Suave and the Boner,” the risque-comedy cabaret show featuring Liz Rubino and John Paul Boukis, played to sold-out houses in New York this year.

Now local audiences will get a chance to see what the fuss is about.

For its fall fundraiser, the Oakland Center for the Arts, downtown, will present “Suave and the Boner” for two shows, Friday and Saturday.

It will be the same 70-minute show that the duo has staged in New York, plus some added bonus sketches.

Rubino, a Mahoning Valley native, is a theater professional in both performance and education.

She met Boukis in 2004 while working on a production in Cleveland, and the two have performed together ever since.

Boukis wrote Rubino’s debut cabaret show, “If Only,” which premiered at New York’s The Duplex in 2009.

The two teamed up again last year in “Suave and the Boner,” performing two capacity-crowd shows at The Duplex in March.

“Reviews by members of the Broadway community were generous, and we will be back in March for another performance weekend,” said Rubino. The act also is planning to take the show out on tour.

“Suave and the Boner,” the brainchild of Boukis, gives Rubino a chance to highlight her vocal versatility and comedy chops.

“He has provided me a canvas with this show to create,” said Rubino. “He is a dear collaborator who I am so grateful to for his friendship and his belief in me. He is incredibly talented and driven by passion for art and for working with people he cares about.”

“Suave and the Boner” mixes Steampunk style and Vaudeville musical comedy in a cabaret show that, as its slogan goes, “drags the double entendre to new depths.”

Rubino stars as Lizzy Suave and Boukis as Jack Boner in the show, which features original music by Boukis and pianist Terry Waltz. Directed by Frederick Hamilton of New York, it includes zany character sketches and spoofs of sponsor commercials.

Rubino maintains three performance-education studios, including one in Youngstown. The Actors Equity pro last appeared on a local stage in the Youngstown Playhouse’s 2011 production of “Gypsy.” She also directed the Oakland’s acclaimed 2012 production of “Spring Awakening.” Boukis is also an Equity performer and writer. He was the founder and director of the former Kalliope Stage in Cleveland.

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