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Comic-Con the Musical

musicals and operas · laura watkins & nicholas david brandt · Ages 14+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by PAUL MAJOR

June 19, 2017 certified reviewer
tagged as: comic-con · fun · musical · Nerd

What I liked

First I should lead with the caveat that I never thought much of music theatre when I was younger. I was a theatre performance major surrounded my ‘Music Theatre People’ and never felt much of a connection. I can immediately suspend my disbelief when engaged with a story, but for whatever reason as soon as I saw someone pick up a loaf of bread (or whatever) and start singing in earnest I just sort of got pulled out of it.

Now I’m older and more appreciative, as an audience, in a way that lets me enjoy a show whether it’s a musical or not. And I have to say that, in all honesty, if I had seen COMIC-CON THE MUSICAL when I was in college I probably would have started developing that appreciation a lot sooner.

This show is FUN, first and foremost. The backdrop of comic-con, where folks regularly dress up and play pretend, makes the outbursts of song strangely normal anyway. So the barrier of entry to non-musical-theatre-people like myself is very low.

I won’t single any performers out; I thought the cast was uniformly strong — all of them far better singers than myself and all seemingly engaged with the story as it moved along.
Speaking of moving along, this show did not feel like 2 hours. In fact, before the show began, I was skeptical that a musical about Comic-Con would need or want to be that long. But the length of the story 1) makes sense and 2) passes by in a whimsical gallop.

The performances and choreography transform the space of Second Stage so effectively that the lack of set is, if anything, a boon.

So yeah, I’m gushing. But I this is an earned gush. I see this as a serious effort for a show that could live for a long time to come in big houses.

I’m very impressed with what this ensemble has pulled off. Again, this is just so much fun. There’s a reason this show’s selling out and that reason is fairly won. Particularly for geeks like me COMIC-CON THE MUSICAL offers a loving and breezy reminder of why being a nerd is a fine thing.

Congratulations to the COMIC-CON team!

What I didn't like

More critical notes? Not many; certainly not in the context of pulling a show like this off in a Fringe environment. I sort of wish, without spoiling anything, that the ‘original idea’ the winsome trio develop was different in some way… I don’t have a very productive note for that, just to say that I didn’t really connect with it conceptually.

My overall impression

I’m very impressed with what this ensemble has pulled off. This is just so much fun. There’s a reason this show’s selling out and that reason is fairly won. Particularly for geeks like me COMIC-CON THE MUSICAL offers a loving and breezy reminder of why being a nerd is a fine thing. (much longer review with the link!)

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