Review Throwback: Alex Goes To A Musical

As I said last week, I’ve been writing album and show reviews here and there for my pals over at the music blog Little By Listen. I figured since this is, you know, a music blog, I’d do a little review throwback and post them on The Rock Renaissance as well. The last one I did was an album review, so now it’s time for a show review. Only this show was a little different. This, my friends, was a musical.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

September 18th, 2012

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Denver, CO

I figured one day I would have to do it. I mean, every guy has a manly duty to accompany his special lady on a lovely date consisting of something lame like a chick flick, a spinning class, or a play. I’ve dragged the misses to decidedly un-lame concerts like Yeasayer (they drop beats like a hip-hop band) and My Morning Jacket (of course they won’t play for three hours). I figured it was time to payback the favor and attend a musical.

I’ve seen a musical or two in my day, but only because they were requirements for college classes. I find the whole song and dance thing completely unnecessary, and much prefer a blistering guitar solo to a well designed costume.

The first step in the musical date night process was getting the time off work without admitting I was in fact going to a musical. I got a colleague to cover for me, and he asked what I had going on. “Oh, you know, I’m doing this, uh, thing. It’s hard to explain.”

After awkwardly slinking away from work, I met with a large group of friends, all of whom were more excited about the evening than me. My excitement was masked by fear that I was doing something very girly, and would have to prove my manliness by doing something like chopping wood or growing a beard. My past attempts at chopping wood and growing a beard have completely failed, so I was downright nervous at showtime.

Fortunately, the crowd existed of almost all couples, so I didn’t feel the need to wield an ax with my shirt off to prove my worth. The lights dimmed, the announcer came on, and I was ready to sing along, or whatever it is you’re supposed to do at these things.

The show is a satirical and humorous focus on love and relationships, including all of the social taboos and nuances in between. Four actors cover a multitude of different characters in a series of independent vignettes. The quick scenes progress through the many facets of love, from awkward first dates all the way to being lame after having kids.

Preconceived judgement aside, it’s clear why this is one of the longest running musicals out there. The quick vignettes cater to our short attention spans, the taboo subjects make it seem edgy, and the scenes cover topics the audience can relate to. Throw in some satire and humor, and you’ve got a happy audience.

The small venue didn’t skimp on the fast-paced production, as one scene flew into the next, with a few awkward slow numbers in between. Only one of the actor’s talent truly shined, but all of them did a remarkable job of playing new characters in every single scene.

The crowd favorites were scenes the audience could clearly identify with, as couples all around were laughing at each other’s nuances. One of my favorites was the “Tear Jerk” scene, about a guy being forced to watch a chick flick, but as the movie progresses, he gets more into the film and ends up bursting into hysterical tears at the film’s climax.

That got me thinking about my view of the musical. I survived, but I was not a musical convert. I will still take an ear shattering Japandroids show over a satirical musical. Yet if that special someone is wanting to go to a musical, I’m telling you fellas, you better stick with this one.

On our way out of the theatre, I spotted a sign for an Alice Cooper concert coming to Denver this fall. Looks like I’ll be cashing in on those brownie points and picking our next romantic date.

2/5 – Plain Vanilla

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