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This Is NOT My Life

Remaining Performances:
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 @ 9:15 pm
Saturday, July 25, 2009 @ 11:30 am

They say: Emily figured it out: run away to France, meet the perfect guy, leave everyone behind. But, upon her homecoming, to be the maid-of-honor at her mother’s fifth wedding, it becomes glaringly obvious — this is NOT her life.

Suzyn’s take: This is NOT a fun evening at the theater.

What gets me is that the playwright knows the problem.  He writes in the program that his script is full of “stupid, selfish asses.”   However, it is really hard to make a play about “stupid selfish asses” work—-to say nothing of a musical.

Comedy wherein all the characters are jerks, no one is sympathetic and the real point is to sneer at everybody can be done well.  Indeed, plenty of sneering occurred in the audience as the obviously self-centered characters sung about how “Just for one day, I’d like to see…the whole world revolve around me.”  But the fun of most musicals is getting caught up in the joy or the drama and letting your emotions take you away, and that just doesn’t combine well with sneering.

The songs are well-written, though not all of them advance the plot and the cast is going to get a cease-and-desist from Bryan Adams one day. McKenzie Walsh as “Rebecca Romaine” can really sing, though I look forward to going the rest of my life without hearing “Not like the actress, like the lettuce” again.   It was one of several jokes that didn’t improve on endless repetition.

It’s easy to blame the playwright, and I do, but really someone in the cast should have said: “Hey, my character is a total cliché, and so is everyone else’s, and we all whine a lot, even interrupting a wedding to do so. And the daughter’s friends are the mother’s wedding attendants with no explanation.  And Emily slaps Sean’s ass while the audience probably still thinks he’s her brother.  And the ‘perfect boyfriend’ kisses his way up Mom’s arm for no reason.  And if we’re going to write a song full of Yo Momma jokes, shouldn’t we at least use funny ones?”

This could have been prevented, y’all.

See it if:  “I love wedding cake like a fat kid loves…regular cake” does it for you in the humor department.

Skip it if:  It doesn’t.