Well, that happened!
To be redundant, I'll point out that this website is centered around new experiences, and Ms. Pakman: Bonus Stage! marks my first entry into the world of cabaret. In line with this, I went into this show without any prior knowledge or expectations, other than thinking that the ridiculous costume that Scott Shoemaker was advertised as wearing was an inspired choice.
And then, at one point during this show, Ms. Pakman walked back onto the stage, snorted a bunch of cocaine, and then proceeded to trip out to the point that Asteroids characters* accompanied her as she hurtled through space.
Unfortunately, most of the show was unable to sustain that level of lunacy. I think that this could have been much stronger if its two-hour running time was chopped in half. For every surreal, unexpected moment like the one cited above, there were sections that just dragged. The dialogue between songs, in particular, felt padded out, featuring groaner lines like "I wasn't just annoyed; I was Arkanoid." The campy tone and aggressive onslaught of puns certainly seemed intentional, but it was grating when Ms. Pakman strung together references to her pill-popping habit for several minutes in a row.
To their credit, all of the performers were clearly having a great time, and Scott Shoemaker really went for it in some of the musical numbers (including what sounded like a not-too-terrible Michael Jackson impression). Bonus Stage! is apparently a sequel to a show that they put together last year in the wake of a successful Kickstarter campaign, and most of the audience was eating it up.
My friend and I, though, spent more time rolling our eyes than laughing. Maybe I should have had more to drink before showing up?
*Including fan favorites like "Triangle" and those rocks with the squiggly lines.