Zany! Crazy! Hilarious! Amazing!
“The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Summer Blockbusters” opened at Cape Rep last week for its East Coast premiere, where it’s sure to get the same raves the parodies experienced in Los Angeles. The creator of the show, Kate Pazakis, is no doubt thrilled to be here as she’s very familiar with this stage. She performed on it over 25 years ago.
A huge TV screen with a Simpsons-like couch in front of it surrounded by movie posters and familiar movie scenes should give you a clue of what you are about to experience. Marty and Jennifer McFly (Owain Rhys Davies and Caitlin Gallogly) look like your typical couple ready to relax at home; he’s on his phone and she’s ready to pick out a movie for them to watch. Lightning strikes and the doorbell rings; Back to the Future’s Doc Brown (Djon Alexander) is at the door! He says Jennifer has been sucked into summer blockbusters and Marty needs to rescue her. Jennifer believes she is her movie character in each movie, and Marty and Doc Brown are the only ones aware of the circumstances. Can Marty bring Jennifer back?
Only by embracing the roles in each film they’re in, with Marty playing opposite Jennifer's character, Doc explains. Soon he’s Neo to Jenn’s Trinity, dancing like Patrick Swayze, staring down a shark as Chief Brody, sketching Rose as Jack and more. It’s frenetic and wild as they undertake these spoofs with the help of a superb ensemble cast that includes Jess Andra, Kelly Plescia and Anthony Teixeira.
Does it help if you know the movies? Of course, but all the films included are well-known and popular water-cooler topics so you’re sure to get it even if you hadn’t seen the movie or seen it lately. Pazakis claims she watched the “films on repeat for two weeks to create the outline,” and she nails each film’s essence. My theater companion and I literally laughed out loud throughout the show. “It’s like a wild roller coaster ride!” she said.
Standout performances in the ensemble were Teixeira’s Jeff Goldblum (the script calls the movie characters by the original actors' names sometimes, a clever technique that works well) and his “Voiceover Guy,” Andra’s T-Rex and the Sox fan, and Plescia as Baby’s sister. Davis doubled as co-director with Pazakis, keeping the show well-paced. His Marty McFly (complete with the puffy down vest!) was spot-on, and his finger wiggle as Swayze was hysterical also. “I’ve got to dance?” Gallogly is a powerhouse peanut (there’s even an audience aside about her height) seamlessly slipping on the roles of Trinity, Baby, a Fosse-like shark, Rose on “top of the world!” and others. Alexander in his crazy hair wig and wild eyes captures the hilarity of Christopher Lloyd’s Brown; he’s fun to watch.
The wild antics of this gifted company are aided by the excellent set (Richard Ouellette), flashy and well-timed lighting (Susan Nicholson), impressive costume design (Robin McLaughlin), ambitious choreography (Dani Davis and associate choreographer Brandon Simmons) and music arrangements of hit songs that work well (Gregory Nabour under David Kornfeld’s direction). The well-hidden band (Meyer Brown, Ryan Sander and Noah Pott) belted out the familiar themes remarkably well, especially “Eye of the Tiger.” Stage manager Dana McCoy kept the tempo the script demanded.
If you like laughing and audience participation, get your tickets today! This show is pure fun and perfect for an evening out this July.
"The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Summer Blockbusters"
At Cape Rep Theatre, Route 6A, Brewster
Through July 21
Information and reservations: 508-896-1888, www.caperep.org