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They say: “Join Horatio, a Robot, a Pirate, a Vampire and two Squirrels on a quest for the knowledge of the nut. Quirky & packed with all the Norwegian fish balls you can stomach. Back, bigger, better but mostly just a little longer.”
Ian’s Take: After three new Fringe productions in 2008-2010, I Like Nuts! (The Company) returns to the show that launched them as DC Fringe’s primary purveyors of peanut, pork product, and Pufferhutte-based humor. In 2008, the show inspired Fringe & Purge tag-team reviewers Brian Reed and Ted Schienman to talk excitedly about brownies. And nipples. It appears they enjoyed it quite a bit, and with good reason: I Like Nuts! (The Musical) is a super-silly good time.
Having not seen it last time around, I can’t speak to the differences this time around, but the company promises that it’s “bigger, better, and mostly just a little longer.” You can bet that if anyone actually uttered those words in the show, it’d be followed by a joke faster than you can say, “That’s what she said.” Given that the oft-repeated refrain of the show’s title song goes, “I like nuts, I like nuts in my mouth,” those looking for subtle adult humor should look elsewhere. This is a show for your inner-twelve-year-old to giggle maniacally to; and if that kid is lost to you forever, you’re probably having a bad time at Fringe comedies in general.
The story is a loose reworking of The Wizard of Oz, as Horatio Hornbeam (Nick Greek), our nut aficionado, attempts to get a job at the local nut factory, only to discover that he actually knows nothing about nuts apart from his love for the way they feel in his mouth. First clue: his list of nuts includes corn and polka-dots. In a moment of despair, he’s visited by the Nut Guru, who sends him on a quest that picks him up a group of hangers-on including a vegan vampire, an emotional robot, and a pirate, all in need of wishes granted from the guru. The end of this particular rainbow takes them, for no particular reason other than the obvious jokes about fish balls as culinary choice, to Norway.
Clever double-entendres aside — as well as plenty of not-very-clever ones that are, nevertheless, still hilarious — a wacky musical is really only as good as its songs, and nearly every selection here is catchy enough for you to be singing as you exit the theater, until you realize people are staring at you as you sing “Everyone I Know is a Moron” or “Girls Don’t Like Adventure” as you stroll down 14th Street. Check your maturity at the door, laugh hysterically for an hour, and then pick it back up along with the complimentary pack of peanuts on your way out.
See it if: In your estimation, The Wizard of Oz suffered from a dinstinct lack of testicular humor.
Skip it if: You had to eat lunch at a table separate from the PB&J kids. Not just because there are live peanuts onstage, but also because of the increased risk of wedgie distribution to the allergy prone.