Are You There, God? It’s a New Musical Revue! is based on Judy Blume’s young adult novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Sort of. In between the 12 or so songs, one of the five-person cast reads a small portion of the book out loud. Then they launch into song again—most from lesser-known musicals. Despite the theme of coming of age in the songs, there’s nothing that ties them together to the entire show. There are no characters (or even character names) or plotlines. Just the actors singing with each other, or sometimes at each other. I’m all for musicals, but when there’s no substance to the singing, it comes off as shallow.
The thing that threw me off the most was that a show about first crushes and getting called on in school and puberty was played by actors in their 30s and older. It’s hard to not compare this show to BLODDYMERRYJAMMYPARTY. I said in my review that it’s refreshing and adds so much depth to see a show about teenage angst actually played by teenagers. Becuase of this, Are You There God? comes off as rather out of touch—like a mother who dresses like her teenage daughter in a desperate attempt to maintain her youth. So when the words “fuck” and “titties” are said in two separate instances, it comes off as abrasive and out of place.
The title refers to itself as a revue, but doesn’t contain sketches or dance (other than some choreographed moves), further proving my observation that Are You There God? struggles with an identity crisis.