What would happen if SPAMALOT got mixed with THE BOOK OF MORMON? Maybe something like this new musical by Karey & Wayne Kirkpatrick.
It begins with an inviting “Welcome to the Renaissance”, that by its middle becomes a little too modern for my taste; it’s followed by “God, I Hate Shakespeare”, that reminded me of the music by Queen, not exactly my cup of tea. The song that follows, “Right Hand Man”, got my attention and Heidi Blickenstaff gave it all singing it. And then there’s Brad Oscar leading the company with “A Musical”. How could I resist this song? It’s the kind of number that puts a smile on my face and my feet tapping.
I also have fun with “The Black Death”. I enjoyed “Bottom’s Gonna Be on Top”. “To Thine Own Self” it’s a lovely melody and “I Love the Way” is a curious love song, nicely sung by Kate Reinders and John Cariani. By the end there’s “Make an Omelette”, that sounds like a really exciting big number. I don’t have anything against Christian Borle, who I believe must be terrific in the role of Shakespeare, but I couldn’t care less for his songs “Will Power” and “Hard to Be the Bard”; the lyrics are fun, but the music isn’t for me.
The entire cast, lead by a Brian d’Arcy James in top shape, is in perfect tune with the crazy spirit of the show. This is a musical comedy not be taken seriously, without any kind of shame and its creators only intention it’s simply to entertain. To get all the fun, it would help to know a lot about musical theatre and about William Shakespeare as well, but in the end this is just good fun, with some good songs and enjoyable orchestrations by Larry Hochman.
Rate: 6 (from 1 to 10) / Photos by Joan Marcus