Review by CHARLES ZIARKOJune 12, 2017 certified reviewer
What I liked
PRODUCTION “B”, which I saw a week earlier: (1) a post-WWII noir parody from a feminist POV, (2) sentimental two-character romance and (3) “now” APP romantic entanglements—-with smart stories, splendid casts and bright song scores. Special kudos to the two oldsters in the middle show and to Andy Goldenberg, who had only 2 minutes and 1 song in the 3rd show, yet made an indelible impression! PRODUCTION “C”, the high point of the series, which I saw on a single evening with “A” and “D”: (1) a Greek classic adapted into one “colloquial” act, (2) “Curses”, a Jewish legend amusingly-adapted and especially well staged, and (3) the apex of the whole series, “The Wedding Night”, a 20-minute full opera adapted from a vampire legend, with an excellent cast of strong singers, splendidly directed.
What I didn't like
PRODUCTION “A”: A very poor Worst Foot Forward—-three NSG stories, headed for a wastebasket (or retrieved from one), with a cast that can neither act nor sing! Beware! PRODUCTION “D”: Execrable, but not Untalented. 3 “naughty R” (or just plain tasteless) stories packaged together: (1) “Foot Fetish”, cleverly-concocted but not for the squeamish, with 2 star turns (Elise Dewsberry, one of the execs of NMI, and Matt Vallee), (3) “Chaturbate”, chronicling the career of an internet exhibitionist, with a really talented cast (for people who liked “THE M/F W/T HAT”, like me) and (2) sandwiched in between, a desperately juvenile “fairy tale” which equates King Midas with our current president. Ugh!
My overall impression
A bright discovery of this Fringe Festival has been hiding in plain sight for years, anonymously showcasing new musical talent every Summer from a hq on Vineland in the Valley! This season New Musicals Inc has brought its series of “student projects” to Fringe in four separate hours, with three different original 20-minute musicals in each hour: A-B-C-and-D—-a total of 12 different one-acts! But please note that it’s actually 1001 MINUTES of New Musicals, which, divided out (4 programs of 3 shows times the # of performances of each) totals 16.7 minutes PER—-which needs to be properly explained! Overall, 50% is usually considered a pretty good batting average—-but not necessarily in the Theatre!