The text I sent during intermission says it all: “I may have been a bit too quick to judge…this show is not as bad as I thought it would be.” I was expecting a repeat of last seasons’s flop, Mamma Mia, but found myself pleasantly surprised! This show gives old one-hit-wonders a new chance, with different meanings, different melodies, and much more flamboyant costumes.
There were a few things to get used to, but once you did, the show went smoothly. Wade McCollum’s very slight lisp, the intense fear you feel every time someone comes floating down from the rafters on cables, the second hand embarrassment at the woes of Tick, Adam, and Bernadette. From a technical aspect, the slight differentiation in the coloring on the scrim where two pieces were sewn together, the multiple times a stage hand walked out to fix mistakes, and the flickering lights and unaimed spots were quite annoying, but were easy to ignore. For the opening of a show about to take off on a national tour, these minute things were only to be expected, and will certainly be fixed with time!
And now for the things I didn’t expect. The first was how tactfully the bus was used! It took on the role of a backdrop, because it was covered in LED lights. When the trio went to cover up some homophobic slurs, the bus lit up in a horrendous shade of pink! It was a creative use of space when the lights changed and had appropriate colors for the songs thereafter. And lastly, I truly didn’t expect to enjoy this. By the end, I found myself dancing along to the music, keeping my fingers crossed that Tick would find himself a boyfriend (hopefully in Adam!).
This show has many things going for it. It has show stopping hits, it has amazing costumes, but most of all, it has heart. The true motivation behind Tick’s move to the new city is behind his calling as a father. When he finally assumes that role, the show comes full circle, reminding viewers that all kinds of families are perfect. As for acting, this show has many gems. A very strong lead is nothing without strong supporters, and Priscilla had both! Notable ensemble members were the three Divas, (Emily Afton, Bre Jackson and Brit West), Miss Understanding (Nik Alexzander), and Alex Deleo, who all know how to shake and shimmy in the best ways possible!
If ogling men’s butts is your thing, this show might be as well!