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June 14, 2018:

Sugar: The Super Sweet Musical reviewed by Rob Stevens

When leaving the theatre where we just witnessed the incomprehensible mess that was Sugar: The Super Sweet Musical, we overheard another theatregoer grumble “I wish before someone tries to write a musical, they would go see one to get an idea about the form, content, etc.” I had to agree because there was no sense to be made of Frankie MacLaughlin’s creation. Three young twenty-something females share an apartment in a classy NYC building (they have a guitar carrying, suit wearing concierge and an always lurking, working janitor in the lobby) pay their rent by being escorts to married men who are their “sugar daddies.” The songs (if you can actually call them songs—they are just banal words put to banal music sung by weak vocalists overmatched by the onstage piano) come out of nowhere and don’t really advance the plot; rather they stop the malnourished plot dead in its tracks. The musical director and his piano are situated stage left and they are brought into the action at times for no apparent reason except that there they are. Frank Contreras takes program credit as director but his direction is a non-entity—the cast just seem to move around, sometime using this door out of a room, sometime using it out of the building. There are way too many props in use necessitating longer scene changes that just drag out the excruciating length of the piece.


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