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Are you the form of musical theater obsessive who knows Patti LuPone’s particular coverage on mid-display pics, laughs with recognition at the mere mention of the title “Bernadette” (no “Peters” essential) and is nevertheless emotion salty about Jerry Herman’s snarky 1984 Tony Award acceptance speech? Then have I received a Fringe clearly show for you! Writer-performer Brian Jager (who is also driving The Spider Queen) and co-writer Jarrett Poore be part of with Rachel Hope Ihasz, and Marissa Volpe to lovingly lampoon Stephen Sondheim, the late terrific master of intricate lyrics and unhummable tunes.
Starting off with some short biographical history, the quartet buoyantly launch into a mash-up of Sondheim’s early lyrical perform on West Side Tale and Gypsy (with a sprint of Candide for fantastic measure) prior to tackling his Broadway triumphs with Hal Prince and James Lapine. Reimagining Follies as a 1970s edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race is scrumptious, while the suggestion that Into the Woods will still be close to in a hundred several years when we’re all deceased sent a shiver up my backbone, and Poore & Jager’s witty rewritten lyrics mesh impressively with Sondheim’s primary rhyme schemes.
Concurrently singing and spoofing all of Sondheim’s notoriously tough classics is a very seriously tall buy, but this troupe has the musical skills and comedian timing to pull it off. You can unquestionably take pleasure in this exhibit strictly primarily based on the cast’s stellar singing abilities, but (compared with some related condensed Shakespeare comedies) you seriously need to have to know Sondheim’s repertoire in-depth to get the most out of it. Within jokes about Broadway and Orlando’s arts scene fly speedier than even the most ardent Playbill collector will be in a position to catch many of the references obtained past me, but there’s often yet another coming appropriate along.
My major critique is that the show has a few endings — a false finale, an substantial coda recounting Sondheim’s bloodiest strike, and nonetheless yet another encore involving a generally overlooked flop — which is at least a person ending as well numerous. That structural imbalance aside, The Entire Is effective of Stephen Sondheim (Abridged) is a simply cannot-miss exhibit for devotees of the maestro, many thanks to this solid of large voices who aren’t afraid to commit to the little bit.
Tickets and demonstrate information: The Comprehensive Operates of Stephen Sondheim (Abridged)