For those who have ever wondered what happens behind the scenes as a musical makes the transition from Off Broadway to the Great White Way, [title of show] has the answer.
In 2004, [title of show] debuted at the New York Musical Theater Festival as a cheeky meta treatise about two theater-loving friends (librettist Hunter Bell and composer-lyricist Jeff Bowen) creating a musical called…[title of show]. The two appeared on stage as themselves and incorporated each step of the process — including the casting of actor/singer gal-pals Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff — into the ”story line” with plenty of self-referential songs like ”I Am Playing Me.” Each subsequent production has been rewritten to chronicle the tumultuous ongoing creative process.
Now, [title of show] includes updates about 2006’s Vineyard Theater production, and a subsequent cult-like series of YouTube webisodes (titled, naturally, ”the [title of show] show”) posted to build buzz and keep interest peaked on [title of show]’s long road to Broadway. But most of the new material is devoted to amusing topical gags (e.g. poking fun at the cost of theater tickets) and newly recorded voice cameos from Broadway glitterati like Gypsy star Patti LuPone. But be warned: With all its insidery, obscure theater references, [title of show] is not for everyone. The creators even smartly acknowledge their limited appeal with a winsome 11th-hour song that proudly asserts, ”I’d rather be nine people’s favorite thing than a hundred people’s ninth-favorite thing.”
Yet the theme of staying true to a vision, embodied in the centerpiece song ”Die Vampire, Die,” is universal, and the engaging ensemble crackles with unbridled energy. Between the snappy dialogue, wistful lyrics, and actors clearly having a ball, [title of show] should become a favorite thing for far more than just nine people. (Tickets: Telecharge.com or 212-239-6200) B