Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)

Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is being presented by The Kinkaid School of Houston, Texas, as part of The American High School Theatre Festival. This is one school who very quickly showed not only why initiatives like this are so crucial but why kids don't always need to be treated with kid gloves.

So much of what makes this show so enjoyable is a fantastic young cast... confident, full of energy and integrity

This show has a simple and effective point to make, sending up almost every musical convention in an hilarious manner by repeating essentially the same story five times over. Each repetition is done in the style of different musical legends; Rogers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander and Ebb. Puns abound as costumes and singing styles adapt and change.

Much of what is good about this show is in the strength of the writing. Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart have an exact understanding of each style that enables them to remain recognisable but removed enough so that you can really laugh at them too. However so much of what makes this show so enjoyable is a fantastic young cast. They were confident, full of energy and integrity and genuinely, really funny.

In this version - possibly a creative decision or due to constraints in cast - the baddie, referred to as Jitter, and the male protagonist called variations of Bill, were played right through by Harrison Poe and Ashton Lambert. These two boys showed more promise and talent than I've seen in young people in quite some time. Not only did they dance and sing fantastically well, but they changed from character to character with ease.

The vocals weren't perfect and there were weak areas in the acting ability but overall I was impressed far past my expectations. Never again will I make assumptions about high school groups for fear I may miss an absolute gem like this one! 

Reviews by Hannah Lucy Baker

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The Blurb

A hilarious send-up of musical theatre that affectionately pokes fun at the clichés we know and love. Starting with a ballad to corn (à la Oklahoma) and ending with a chorus kick line of done, clever musical parodies abound! The classic 'I can’t pay the rent' plot is reinterpreted in five variations, each composed in the distinctive style of a different musical theatre icon: Rodgers & Hammerstein, Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, and Kander & Ebb. The original production was hailed as ‘Witty! Refreshing! Merciless!’ (Village Voice) and ‘Great fun’ (NY Times).

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