A unique concept of a musical about two guys writing a musical thats all about two guys writing a musical, [title of show] made it debut on Broadway back in 2008 but remains unknown here in the UK. Until now! Patch of Blue Theatre have debuted the show in the Fringe in what is an obvious precursor to the West End.
The story of two friends Hunter (Ricky Johnston) and Jeff (Robbie Johnston) who decide to write a musical stumble upon the idea that the best story would be about them writing aforementioned Broadway show! Confused? No need to be, it makes perfect sense.
The boys are joined Susan (Carley Stenson) and Heidi (Jamie Lee Pike) and what we get is a zany 80 minutes very much in the style of US hit show 'Friends' with some rather catchy and brilliant executed songs.
Musical styles mingle well together in this production from the comedy of 'Monkeys and Playbills' and 'Die Vampire Die' right through to the pathos driven song of 'A Way Back to Then' which shows that attaining the dream of getting to Broadway needs a lot of dedication and the ability to bounce back from even the hardest of knocks. The three-part montage section is something to behold and shows an inventive use of the medley in a musical.
This production is all class and it’s obvious from the inclusion of Stenson, a well known west end performer with the likes of Legally Blonde and Shrek the musical to her credit, that the producers are testing the waters here in edinburgh. Judging by size of the audience and the response from them at the curtain call, its a test which it is passing with flying colours.
The only slight niggle with the show is some of the lighting seems a bit askew with a couple of fluffed cues which pulls the showdown from what would be an easy five stars. This should rectify itself out as the run continues.
The finale of the production is a moment of pure pathos and makes such a refreshing change from the big musicals to have this one close with a dose of reality is both clever and ensures that title of show is set apart from the rest.
An excellent book combined with catchy tunes and a cast that can pull off everything that is asked of them ensures that this is one production that once seen is never forgotten!