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June 21, 2016:

Bumpersticker The Musical reviewed by Rob Stevens

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Bumpersticker The Musical sounded like a fun, quirky little show, a perfect fit for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. But Gary Stockdale and Spencer Green, who wrote the book and lyrics (Stockdale also wrote the music), had a lot more on their mind. While a DJ (the chameleonic Zachary Ford) blasts out the tunes, along with droll commentary, on their car radios, seven very frustrated commuters spend their time stuck in traffic reading and singing the bumper stickers arrayed before them. There is the ubiquitous “I Heart,” joyously delivered by Lamont Dozier, Jr. who also delivers the hilarious “Lose Weight Now.” Jennifer Leigh Warren wails to the rafters with the gospel-tinged “Honk if You Love Jesus.” The score is varied and tuneful throughout the 90 minutes. There is the country twanging “Gas, Grass or Ass,” and the proud parental paean “Have You Hugged Your Kid Today.” The calypso flavored “America Is Full” could serve as the theme song for the Trump campaign. After all the fun and laughs, the show turns serious quickly and profoundly in the final few numbers. “Coexist” is a plea for tolerance and “Practice Random Acts of Kindness” is a healing balm. The ensemble cast, who all get to shine in solos, also includes Nadia Ahern, Jahmaul Bakare, Eliot Hochberg, Holly Rockwell, Lauren Rubin and Anne Yatco. Ford’s manic energy drives the show, coming across as a deranged DJ slash demented emcee. David O’s music direction is tops and Michele Spears’s direction keeps the numbers moving smoothly from one to the other, while she also contributes some lively choreography.

4stars

Asylum @ The Dragonfly, 6510 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. June 23. http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/3687

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