“Pop Punk High” ia a fun musical at La Poisson Rouge in the West Village. The show is based on a school where music and skate boarding is king. The shows nexus is a geek who wants to date the hot chick named Amanda Bunkface (Jess Kaliban), who barely knows his name until a dead Avril Lavigne (Kelly Krauter), grants him three wishes. Skeet (Patrick Sweeney) becomes a different person. He beats his arch rival Derek in skate boarding, music, you name it. He is changing by the second and he has no time for loyal Tib, who stood by him no matter how desperate his situation became. “Pop Punk High” is an R Rated “School of Rock”, it’s up there with “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”. What “Pop Punk” adds is a lot of music, good songs sung by a young talented cast. We see humor in this musical, especially by Skeet and his parents. His dad (Eric Wiegand) was a tremendous dancer and shed humor on this already raucous show. Mom (Mclean Peterson) was equally wonderful in her role, her comedic timing was flawless.
The lighting was some of the best off Broadway this year. The strobes, the purples and greens as well as the yellows kept the performance alive and kicking. When I see a show, I picture the lighting as the drummer in the band. In “Pop Punk High” the beat went on and the liveliness added by the great singing and funny lyrics made it a delightful evening. Not just for the young sheek crowd, it was a mix of age in the crowd and young and old alike b- bopped to the music. Do not let the title fool you, it was a mixture of punk rock, pop rock and a little rock and roll.
The costumes were brilliant, from dads bright green cut off half way down the calf to smash the icon, mom’s pink pants and exaggerated wiggly was comical. We had Derek in the cut off shirt and Avril in her famous neck tie. “Pop Punk High” was a first rate show that blended music and comedy alike. The show captured what high school was like, had some cursing but that’s quite normal for high schoolers. Adding to the fun is the schools principal Jacob Grover. Grover is a cross between the principal in “Back To The Future” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. He is goofy but not ultr nerdy. He has his class pets and people he has no time for.
“Pop” does not play on a regular schedule so you need to contact the Theater for showtimes. “Pop Punk High” places well here, it is a nightclub at night. This performance started at 6 pm, it had a punk band playing for about 45 minutes prior to the show and played after the performance as well. The show is about one hour and a half and it goes by quickly. Most of the songs are catchy and some are down right hilarious. The battle of the bands steals the show with both talent and raucous laughter. The musicians who back stop this show are: Josh Roberts (Drummer), Matthew Riordan (Guitar 2), Dan Hemerlain (Bass), and Nick Brenock (Guitar). All were terrific rock musicians who kept the show in high gear. Put it all together, the lighting, the songs, the band, the acting and the comedy and it is a winner! I recommend this show to anyone who licks the corky movies from the 80’s and 90’s that are full of laughter and a pension for the absurd.