When the curtains rose Tuesday night at the Wyly Theatre, the transport to The Golden Girls‘ set was immediate. The replica only enhanced the entire experience brought on by the cast of actors who brought the GGs to life on stage in Murray and Peter Present’s touring show The Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue. For the next two hours plus intermission the laughs were mixed in with roars and applause by the audience for a show that was both a tribute and an irreverent blast.

This very special episode centered on Rose (Adam Graber) and Blanche (Vince Kelley) growing their new hookup app CreakN for seniors. Meanwhile. Dorothy (Ryan Bernier) is stressed over her mother Sophia’s (Christopher Kamm) upcoming trial where she was caught selling drugs to her silver peers. Dorothy is also distracted by her new younger man Burt (Jason Bowen) with a penchant for mommies.

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The gals had the house from the get-go and no one was left out of the show’s wild ride. However, the show was wild enough that some people didn’t come back after intermission. The performances never felt like caricatures of the originals, but the actors were serving GG spirit for days, particularly Bernier and Graber who nailed Dorothy’s and Rose’s voices. Kelley oozed that Southern sensuality Rue McLanahan always did. Kamm’s grumpiness was spot-on for Sophia. Bowen did double duty as Dorothy’s lover Burt and her ex Stanley and did not shy away from his outrageous physical comedy as both.

While certainly a love letter to the show and its fans, these Girls were filled with more sass and spirit than the original. Any innuendo was out the window as the sex jokes, curse words and drug use were hilariously in your face. Drugs? Cussing? These ain’t your grandma’s Golden Girls.

What makes all that work is that four out men dressed as the characters deliver all that brazen sass with just the right notes. The gays in the audience laughed at some of the jokes well before the large number of (likely straight) women got in on the punchline. When the ladies are dropping online code speak like BBC and CBT, the ladies next to me (dressed AS the Golden Girls) sat in silence waiting to laugh. That was sort of the silver lining magic of this show for queer audiences.

The show runs through Sunday at the Wyly.

–Rich Lopez