Thursday, June 28, 2012

Triass Parq, The Musical

"Triassic Park, The Musical"at Soho Playhouse, June 23, 2012

(Looking back, I found this post never got published.)

If you're looking for a bit of cool summer froth, head downtown.

Mixing the metaphors of Gregory Maguire (Wicked), Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis (Urinetown), and Douglas Carter Beane (Lysistrata Jones), creators Marshall Pailet, Bryce Norbitz and Stephen Wargo spin the tale that " not Jurassic Park..." from the perspective of the dinosaurs.

Silliness abounds alongside cartoonish concepts of religious foundations as our cast of three Velociraptors, two T-Rexes and a "Mime-a-saurus" recount Michael Crichton's story of creation, fatal flaws and chaos. (In their world, they refer to their creator as Lab instead of God, setting off a series of nonsequiturs that could be funny with a bit more refinement.)  And, since all the dinosaurs were created female so there would be no offspring, all the characters are played as women.

Spoiler alert.

Leading the charge is Morgan Freeman (a very funny and very white Lee Seymour) as the narrator, providing exposition and spoilers ( "It's the frog DNA!") as the evening progresses.  Velociraptor of Faith (a most hunky Wade McCollum), Velociraptor of Innocence (an awkwardly androgynous Alex Wise), BFFs T-Rex 1 (a belting Shelley Thomas) and T-Rex 2 ( hot pink-lidded Claire Neumann) who speak in unison, Mime-a-saurus (an also hunky Brandon Espinoza), and the exiled Velociraptor of Science (a very funny Lindsay Nicole Chambers) round out the cast as they invent creationism for themselves to explain where they came from and how their world works.

Once the frog DNA surfaces with T-Rex 2's spontaneous genital metamorphosis from female to male.  Faith sees it as a demon that should be outcast.  Innocence doesn't understand Faith's unwillingness to accept change as natural.  She learns then about the existence of Science who lives outside the fence in exile.  Further revelations abound along with an under-used goat puppet.

Production values are clever, sets by Cite Hevner, costumes by Dina Perez and lights by Jen Schriever

Wrap all this up in a pop score by Mr. Pailet and run it in 85 minutes, and you get a show full of laughs and energy.

Triassic Parq, The Musical runs through August 5.  Get tickets here

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