Making its UK debut, hit Broadway musical [title of show] plays to an almost full house at Edinburgh's Assembly Checkpoint, proving this new and relevant musical has a fair few fans already.
With only a cast of four (and an on stage musical director) the show is simplistic to say the least. Its extremely basic set, costumes and props are all the elements that allow this production, and its cast, to shine. Without having to concentrate on elaborate set pieces, the delivery of each and every lyric is fulfilled to its maximum.
Hunter (Ricky Johnston) and Jeff (Robbie Towns), seemingly lost with their chosen careers, embark on creating a brand new musical with hopes of the bright lights of Broadway. They stumble upon writers block and decide to write down everything they say and do within the writing process to create the script of the show. This allows them on occasion to break down the fourth wall slightly engaging the young audience.
The show is jam packed with modern references to Broadway and musical theatre, particularly during ‘Monkeys and Playbills', a song that names obscure and unsuccessful Broadway musicals in a lighthearted fashion. The script is lighthearted and whilst mocking certain shows such as Shrek and 9 to 5, isn't offensive.
It is a pleasure to see Carley Stenson in such an intimate environment, her role of Susan allowing her dynamic persona to take on the humour and sarcasm of her character with ease. Her relationship with Heidi (Jamie Lee Pike) provides a great degree of amusement. During 'What Kind of Girl Is She?' we see their friendship questioned and each girl explains their emotions in this high pressured environment.
Whilst I probably only noticed about half of the ‘in jokes', the show is full of wit and isn't afraid to poke fun at the industry it so clearly loves. The lyrics are funny, the melodies are memorable and the cast are terrific; [title of show] is one new musical destined for big things on the British stage.