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June 12, 2017:

1001 Minutes of New Musicals Program D reviewed by Rob Stevens


The three mini musicals comprising Program “D” of NMI’s 1001 Minutes of New Musicals is rated R for strong, crude sexual content and some nasty song lyrics. A good time was had by all at the opening performance at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. First up appropriately was Feet First, the most assured offering I’ve seen so far from NMI. Gay roommates and best pals Jace (Matt Valle) and Parkie (Frankie Rodriguez) share a NYC apartment as well as a fetish for fine looking bare feet. As they prepare for the onslaught of horny sailors in town for Fleet Week, Jace’s overbearing mother Marjorie (Elise Dewsberry) pays a surprise visit. She’s on her way to the theatre and the Plus One she has brought along is family friend and Jace’s ex Alan (Anthon Michael Meyer) AKA Mr. Size 12, who flaunts his feet in sandals to the consternation of the boys. The foot puns flow non-stop in Chris Smith’s fun book—running the gamut from A to Z or better yet, from heel to toe. The laughs are frequent and hilarious as the other characters freeze while someone puts their best foot forward to express their emotions. Ross Plotkin provided the music to Brad Beaver’s lyrics for the themed songs. Grace Jasmine has taken on a lot of plot for a 20-minute musical with her book & lyrics for F**ked Up Fairy Tales. Fairy Tale Land is in turmoil as familiar characters like Cinderella and Maleficent find out Midas has somehow been elected King. He puts some harsh laws into effect and has The Beast and his daughter Ice Princess enforce them. The Giant acquiesces to the new laws but his lover Jack rebels against the King. Battle lines are soon drawn. Jasmine has written some fun political satire but there are too many characters and too much plot for such a short running time. Chaturbate: The Musical is a raunchy tale of a struggling Broadway dancer who instead of waiting tables works the internet porn chat rooms. Laura has a devoted following but when a jealous dancer leaks her secret to a producer, her dream of dancing on Broadway seems to be over. But her fans come to her rescue and soon she is not only performing in chat rooms but on Broadway. It’s a cute premise that Dan Margules has come up with and it does generate some bawdy laughs. Unfortunately Tamara Philbrick (who looks like a porn version of Sutton Foster) and plays Laura doesn’t have a strong enough voice to really sell the songs by David Jayden Anthony (music) and Chris Edgar (lyrics). Denis McCourt directed all three minis.



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