Save the Goondocks!
nytheatre.com review by Amy Rhodes
August 15, 2004
Save The Goondocks! purports to be a musical parody of the 1985 movie The Goonies. While the show pays homage to the childhood classic, it falls short of its own aspirations.
For fans of the movie, there is a lot to love in Save The Goondocks! The young cast is talented and enthusiastic in recreating their film counterparts. Michael Bevins’ costumes are fabulous, dead-on replicas of those in the movie. And most impressive is the set design by Matt Gurry, which finds myriad clever ways to represent complicated special effects in a minimalist way on stage.
The show garners plenty of knowing laughs as the cast recreates scenes from the movie, which follows seven kids on a quest to find hidden treasure. For the most part, the dialogue comes directly from the movie and creates an entertaining trip down memory lane.
Yet the nostalgia wears off after a while. Director/composer Ren Casey attempts to keep the show fresh by adding musical numbers to the mix. But the songs, while often quite funny, do little to further the plot, and do nothing to skewer the original movie.
In fact, there is nothing in Save The Goondocks! that constitutes parody. Simply calling something a parody does not make it one. The show is not a spoof, nor does it find elements of the film to ridicule. The play, while honoring the cult classic movie, is essentially a reenactment and does not have a voice of its own.
Even still, there is a generation of moviegoers who hold a special place in their hearts for Chunk, Data, and the rest of the gang as they try to save the day. For them, Save The Goondocks! is a blast. If nothing else, it will leave '80s pop culture junkies wanting to head to their local Blockbuster and rent The Goonies yet again .