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Remaining Performances: Tuesday, July 16, 9:45 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 6:15 p.m. Thursday, July 25, 8:15 p.m. Sunday, July 28, 4:45 p.m.
They say: “An unhinged theatre composer and his out-of-work director friend set out to turn a notorious snuff film into a Broadway musical, but then the shadowy man who made the film shows up to take over – and ruin their lives.”
Lindsey’s Take: Musicals based on films based on books—-Broadway is overrun with them in the universe of The Snuff Musical. A notorious snuff film draws a desperate and unraveling creative duo to bring it to life on the stage. But who on earth would want to star in such a piece of work?
Enter: the wide-eyed young actress, just arrived in the big city. Her overly enthusiastic Shakespeare audition monologues and oblivious sexual innuendo (and a timely bit part as a particularly lovely corpse) get her the part immediately.
The played-out theater tropes continue, mocking and self-aware, yet the cast plays along for the sake of the constant hilarity. Obnoxious financial backers? Check. Diva leading lady? Check. Ruthless back-stabbing actresses? Check. Unoriginality is required to succeed in The Snuff Musicals’s world. If everyone is making musicals based on movies, maybe movies are the new books?
At 90 minutes, The Snuff Musical longer than your average Fringe performance—-which slows a bit in the middle—-but writer Michael Martin keeps things moving with some laugh-out-loud moments and a few recurring subplots that really make the show. The six-person cast, all first-time Fringe performers, each have standout moments. Leslie Vincent as willing, oblivious young actress Kelly Kincaid is both charming and obnoxiously diva. PJ Mitchell as the shadowy snuff film director does a 180 from devilish to deflated when the true details of his past are revealed.
The cast, and the show itself, clearly has fun playing with the overwrought aspects of Broadway showbiz with a fairly constant stream of jokes—-even at the expense of its own genre.
See it if: You think all of the drama in the theater world is a comedy.
Skip it if: Plot twists set to show tunes aren’t your thing.