I am generally not a fan of the campy drag-comedy genre, as I tend to find its constant genitalia jokes tiresome. "Lady X," written by David Cerda, Adrienne Smith, David Czaplewski and Cheryl Snodgrass, and presented by Hell in a Handbag Productions and parodying a 1937 Bette Davis vehicle, is an exception. The difference is this: likeable characters, who go a long way towards lending meaning to the genitalia jokes.
Our protagonist is Mary Dwight (the brilliant Annie Gloyn), a hooker with a heart of gold who must tread dangerous waters when the murderous "lady gangster" Scarlett Fontanelli (Cerda) takes control of the nightclub where she plies her trade. Although the script is silly, in the best sense, Gloyn treats the material with respect and takes her character - a sassy, streetwise and compassionate woman - seriously, even as she delivers a never-ending supply of puns and innuendo.
When a client of hers is murdered by Scarlett, Mary is prompted to testify against her evil boss by crusading District Attorney Frank Graham (Megan Keach), but self-servingly refuses. Then, in a tragic development closely paralleling the origin of Spider-Man, her na´ve and innocent younger sister Betty (Joanna P. Lind) also dies at Scarlett's hands, causing her to seek justice.
Gloyn is the highlight, but she is helped greatly by a very funny supporting cast: Libby Lane, Ed Jones, Elizabeth Lesinski as her wacky fellow ladies of the night and Michael Hampton as Scarlett's transvestite henchman, Ape.
Although the show treats its pulpy material comedically, it almost works as a genuine article of melodrama as well as it does a spoof. It is in any case, an enjoyable time.