The one-sentence take: the more you love musicals, the more you are likely to enjoy this continuously clever, frequently funny, and gleefully savage sendup of its smashes and stars. And now for a bit of unpacking: it really does help to love musicals, especially musicals from the golden age of that form, because otherwise — well, it’s not that you won’t be able to get the joke when the song “Hello, Dolly” is rendered as “Oh no, Carol,” because the lyrics make it pretty clear that actress Carol Channing will play her meal-ticket role anywhere, anytime (even Solana Beach). It’s more that if you didn’t already know that, if you haven’t already shaken your head in bemusement at the news of yet another revival, and most importantly, if you didn’t at one point marvel at Channing’s creation, performance, and outright ownership of that character in that show, then, well, it might just seem mean. The same goes for the treatment of Robert Goulet, Barbara Streisand, Liza Minnelli, and Bernadette Peters. Stars, shall we say, of a certain age.
Put bluntly: it’s easier to be funny when you’re punching up, and as theater’s territory in the entertainment landscape has gotten smaller, so have the targets. The riffs on Dear Evan Hansen and Once just aren’t as witty as those on Fiddler on the Roof or Les Miserables; they sound more like critical reviews set to music than brilliant parody. And it’s no accident that several of the better takes on more recent shows concentrate their fire on Disney and what it’s done to the Great White Way. Because Disney is big now like Carol Channing and Fiddler used to be. But if you’ve got the love, then this show has the laughs (and the cast).
Ongoing until Saturday, May 21, 2022
|Sundays, 2pm-4pm & 7pm-9pm|
|Fridays, 2pm-4pm & 8pm-10pm|
|Saturdays, 2pm-4pm & 8pm-10pm|