Tabletop (the musical)

mb stage productions, llc · Ages 12+ · United States of America

family friendly world premiere
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June 21, 2019 certified reviewer
tagged as: Must See

What I liked

Everything. Just about anyway. I am overwhelmed by the number of positives I have to say for this show. The book and music by Chad Sundman and Race Benaglio are clever, catchy, and so much fun regardless of your knowledge of the game (I’m a fan of tapletop RPGs and didn’t miss a joke but my partner, having no knowledge of the game or it’s intricacies still loved every second of the show). James Matthew Johnson’s choreography is top notch. Katie Mapel’s costume and makeup designs do quite a lot with a little. Ditto lighting and sound design (considering technical limitations for Fringe- I expect the full run of this show will go so much further with these elements!) And performances were phenomenal all around with special recognition to Löic Suberville , Natalie Swanner, and Jason Pollack (though not a single member of the main cast lagged far behind whatsoever) . The show is nearly 3 hours long, but at no point does it feel like it’s dragging thanks to an engaging and entertaining story that is simultaneously hilarious and heart felt and never feels flat. Part of that is owed to Jared Pixler’s direction, which keeps the show clipping along at just the right pace. All around just incredible work. The run is sold out, but I still strongly recommend showing up to the theatre with the hopes of getting in on standby. It’s worth the trip.

What I didn't like

How do you find complaints about a show that is presented as a workshop? Especially one as well developed already as this? The only real criticisms I have (that won’t be solved by a bigger budget and a non-Fringe setting) is:
A) Sound balance. The music often drowns out the mic-less performers. Back down a bit on the music so we can hear the lyrics, especially from some of the softer voiced performers.
2) There’s a large ensemble with not a lot for them to do and individual parts only given to a handful of them (one of which is my literal doppelgänger but that’s a discussion for another time). It’s a large show that needs a large ensemble, but they often feel under utilised. Of course, this happens all the time in musicals, but I can’t help but want more for these immensely talented performers all the same.

My overall impression

Absolute brilliance in writing, staging, and performance.

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