nytheatre.com review by Andrea Somberg
Cross Fast Food Nation with "Saturday Night Live," add some
a capella music and a whole lot of humor, and you’ve got Jeff
and Charlie La Greca’s Minimum Wage, a rip-roaring
musical experience. And make no mistake, this is an experience.
Audience members are expected to participate fully as they learn
the Happy Burger oath, sing the Happy Burger anthem, and join in
the all around Happy Burger fun.
August 15, 2002
Kevin Scott directs this smart, witty, and highly original musical in which employees of Happy Burger, a fast food chain with a Big Brother-type CEO and a disturbing dystopian motto, initiate the audience into the wonders of hamburgerology. The employees’ dreams go beyond flipping burgers, though—they long to enter and win their town’s a capella singing contest.
The cast (Paul Ashley, Jennifer Heaney, Harold Lieman, and Charlie and Jeff La Greca) sings its way through composer Sean Altman’s wonderful musical creations with skill and enthusiasm. The music is upbeat, the lyrics are hilarious, and the group sounds so good together that, by the end of the play, their dream of winning the a capella contest doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
If I were to make one complaint about Minimum Wage it would be that it’s a bit short on plot. (I’m thinking, in particular, of a very random, albeit admittedly hysterical scene in which the cast reenacts Godzilla). Most of the time, though, I was too busy laughing to care.
So clear your schedule, skip your dinner plans, and come join the crew at Happy Burger for a great theatre experience. You’ll walk away with a tune on your lips, a smile on your face, and, best of all, a pain in your stomach—not from too much fast food, but from too much laughter.