Nuts. People love them. They come in so many shapes and sizes. But they can be slippery little suckers. How many times have you tried to grab a nut out of a bag and the rest fall out? I especially hate when that happens to the almonds.
Okay, I have a confession to make. I'm not talking about almonds. Let me explain.
I play Anastasia Steele in 50 Shades! The Parody, and the character I play opposite is, of course, Christian Grey.
If you haven't seen 50 Shades! The Parody you're missing out for many reasons. It's like 50 Shades of Grey in that it's a parody. Wait, sorry only 50 Shades! The Parody is supposed to be a parody. This is getting confusing. Anyway, it's one of the best shows on the Strip. It has hot and steamy sex scenes! It has hysterical comedy! It has nuts! I think I may have forgotten the “Spoiler Alert” before that last part.
In a certain scene, Christian Grey and my character, Anastasia Steele, are in a bedroom, scantily clad. Christian Grey props his leg up on a bed stand and asks Anastasia, "Why so surprised, Ms. Steele?" And on a certain night, the crowd roared with laughter. I mean, the audience always laughs at that part, but I did notice a particularly enthusiastic reaction. One woman with an apparently acute nut allergy fainted. Because, how should I say this ... a nut slipped out of a bag.
The thing is, in this scene I’m situated behind Christian Grey, so I wasn’t privy to, well, his privy. Some friends who attended that show later told me how hilarious the ball-drop scene was. Without sounding like I didn’t know my own show, I laughed with my friends and asked, “Which ball drop are you referring to?” Then, I excused myself momentarily to ask my stage manager if it’s normal for something to um, pop out, during that scene. He informed me that the director insists on the pop out! “It’s a Shakespeare reference,” he said. I wondered, what was the Shakespeare reference? "To thine own self be true?"
Anyway, I went back to my friends and explained like a smartypants that it was a Shakespeare reference. I was relieved that I could sound so informed, especially after being so embarrassed that I didn’t know this happened every night in the show! But then, the obvious question occurred to me: Was it a real nut or a fake nut? If he were being true to thineself it would be real. But if it was fake, I imagine I would see some nuts floating around in the prop section backstage. Was it possible I missed the prop-nut rehearsal? I started to wonder what else I had missed.
I excused myself again and asked the stage manager the obvious question. “So was … um, the nut, uh, real or fake?” He gave me a puzzled look and laughed. “It was an accident,” he said.
“Wait—what was an accident? The fake nut falling out?” I asked.
“No, the whole thing was an accident. There are no fake nuts. They aren’t supposed to fall out. I was just joking with you,” the stage manager said. Talk about a mixed bag of nuts. Apparently, I also missed that our stage manager was a comedian. I had to go back and tell my friends that it wasn't a Shakespeare reference. Christian Grey’s reveal was just a Freudian slip, with no double meaning.
Anyway, come see me in 50 Shades! The Parody. I guarantee you’ll have a ball! Well, depending.
Catch Maren live (with a side of mixed nuts) in 50 Shades! The Parody at Bally’s Las Vegas. For tickets visit 50shadesvegas.com