Oliver! meets Annie meets Charles Busch meets Disney meets The Sound of Music meets the Pope in this absurd Catholic romp of a delightful, irreverent, charming and truly original new musical “THE KID WHO WOULD BE POPE” which is part of NYMF spreading the word over at The Theatre at St. Clement’s through Oct.7th.
Book, Music and Lyrics are by the Megan brothers, Tom and Jack. And they must have been something growing up, attending parochial school and remembering every action from the nuns and priests that they would one day skewer to hysterical effect (i.e. The Confessional Scene) with their bizarre yet highly accessible sense of ridiculous humor aimed at both kids and adults striking a balance between outrageousness and Holiness. With many a happy, cheerful tune to boot, directed by Gabriel Barre.
Eleven year old Billy (Kyle Brenn looking very much like Justin Bieber) who has a keen imagination has been transplanted from Florida and it’s his first day at Our Lady of Perpetual Motion where he meets strict Sister Rudy (Eric Anderson) toting a yard stick and ruling with an iron rosary bead and his fifth grade classmates that include smart Ali McNally (the gifted Rachel Resheff) Kenny McBride (scene stealer Matthew Gumley) The McJohnson Twins (Ben & Noah Radcliffe) Poet Mary-Louise McPaulson (Leah Greenhaus) and Mary McDoyle (Sarah Safer) and Elizabeth McPetty (Alison Jaye Horowitz). All A-plus performers.
Problem is, Billy falls in love with Sister Katherine (a radiant Jillian Louis) a nun who does cart wheels and is the drama teacher presently mounting a production of Fiddler on the Roof. Sister Katherine is a cross between Pollyanna and Snow White as she bonds with the animals and is accompanied by two pink Angels (James Judy & Eric Anderson) that only Billy can see.
It is then that he decides to become Pope so that he can change the laws that will enable him to marry Sister Katherine. A decision that brings him to Rome where he meets with the Pontiff himself (a fun James Judy) and Cardinal Louis (a magnificent Tina Stafford)
Along the convoluted way (and it is here that the show could use some re-focusing and cutting) he is assisted by his friend Ali who has a library book on “How To Become a Pope” and has her heart set on him so she helps Billy achieve his dream. But he must first perform three miracles and we must meet his parents and he must have a nightmare and save a gerbil and have silent Sister Delmonico (Tina Stafford) regain her voice and a fantasy wedding and you can see where some pruning might help. And poor Sister Katherine somehow fades away and we love her as much as Billy does and want her to have at least another song.
Blessed be the creators that can cause such merriment.
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