All the smiling in the world, all the jumping around on stage, all the key changes in the score, all the energy of the talented cast singing at ear bursting levels can’t disguise the fact the “POPart – the musical” has a bad book, pedestrian lyrics and music that sounds as though it has been recycled from some vintage wedding reception.
Daryl Lisa Fazio is responsible for the lame book and lyrics. Aaron McAllister the music. DJ Gray for the bouncy dances. Chad Larabee for the misdirection. Sorry guys but this show needs tons of work. How it got this far is a mystery that even Agatha Christie couldn’t supply an acceptable answer for.
“POPart – the musical” somehow seems a very bad cross pollination of The Wizard of Oz, Grease, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Pittman Painters and Moose Murders.
Kitty Katz (the wonderfully talented Jillian Louis whose talent is wasted here – she deserves so much better) is an artist searching for her inner talent to emerge. She has left her alcoholic mother (Adinah Alexander) and her newly outed homosexual dad (Timothy Warmen) to attend – on scholarship – the Ghetto Art School where she meets an odd array of over the top characters and given an instructional manual and a blank canvas.
There is the paint eating Edward (Jason Michael Snow) the very likable Latino Toni-O (Zachary Clause) a Dr. Bore (Cyrilla Baer) who is a bore with a fixation on vaginas and a host of weird teachers trying to unleash Kitty’s inner artist whose aspirations are so vapid that one doesn’t really care.
One number stands out and it starts off with a mousey Miss St. Helen (Marla Mindelle) and you can see the gospel revival ending on the horizon as she slowly gains momentum in “Art is Your Rock” which is followed soon after with the Act I finale aptly titled “Meltdown”.
Kitty learns that when someone views a painting that they really don’t like they say it is “interesting”. The same word can be used to describe “POPart the musical”.
At ATA – CHERNUCHIN. www.popartthemusical.com
Photo: Peter James Zielinski
NOTE: In the middle of Act II the young lady (for want of a better word) seated next to me started texting. Was she bored or just rude? Or a little bit of both? No one should have to ask three times for someone to stop such behavior as I had to do.