Far Out--the New Sci-Fi Musical Comedy
nytheatre.com review by David Gordon
August 26, 2009
Far Out, the New Sci-Fi Musical Comedy draws on a number of sources for inspiration and, in turn, parodies them. But the result isn't particularly original or funny. In fact, the biggest laughs of the night were drawn from on-stage mishaps: the set falling down not once, but twice; microphone static (when they worked); and hearing chit-chat backstage while the show was in progress.
Far Out intends to parody all the great B sci-fi flicks that Richard O'Brien lists in "Science Fiction Double Feature," the opening of The Rocky Horror Show (where parody is done correctly). Here, creators Brian Breen and Michael Chartier (responsible for the book, music, and lyrics) seem to have taken all the stereotypes of those movies (and a variety of Broadway shows that parody them like Grease), melded them together and hoped they would fly with not much of a story to back them up. That story, incidentally, involves a giant-eyeball lobster Dreamgirl who is trying to do something to either make everyone look prettier or more like giant lobsters. I couldn't figure out which. It's up to the town nerd to save the day and win the pretty blonde girl, even after he himself is transformed from nerd boy into a giant lobster Phantom of the Opera (I kid you not).
The cast had the giggles at the performance I attended. It's clear they have a good time performing the show, even with the set literally coming down around them. Two muscular Broadway chorus boys are in the leading roles; Spencer Liff, the featured dancer of Cry-Baby who stole that show, is the nerd, and Nick Adams, whose biceps reportedly made Mario Lopez jealous in A Chorus Line, plays his arch rival, the muscular jock Jeff. Both are terrific dancers, but that's no shocker (and Justin Boccitto's choreography often stands out). That their physiques are more on display than anything else is a fault of director Kimothy Cruse and costumer Chasity Neutze for having misplaced priorities.
Of the cast, the highlight is Andrea McCullough, the tap dancing teacher who encourages the audience to join in singing the "Duck & Cover Fugue," lyrics printed in the program, attributed to someone named G.W. Bush.
There are a few funny moments, like McCullough's tap dance, but ultimately the show is a giant been-there-done-that.