ti Lizards From Outer Space’
by ROBERT MASSIMI 6 hours ago in REVIEW
Rocky Horror Meets Globalists.
In its 16th season of the New York Musical Festival, with 30 musical stories being told in full productions, concerts, and readings, The Jewel Box put forth Illuminati Lizards From Outer Space. Taking place in the entire Festival along Theater Row including Playwrights Horizon, as well as The Signature Theaters, the Festival runs for 28 straight days and its mission is to present new works from new artists. NYMF also wants to celebrate musical theater and put forth these new artists in a positive light.
Throughout the year, the festival attracts unproduced works from across the country and then develops them through innovative collaborations in order to present them on the world’s stage during this festival. Through small musical productions, NYMF is trying to build the next generation of musical theater and talent.
Illuminati Lizards From Outer Space is a musical that deals with Lizards who want to take over and rule the world. Its theme is good vs evil with some political overtones. The show deals with illegal immigration, the environment, and the overmedication of people. The main character is a beauty queen who is stripped of her title for lying about being from America. She ends up in the hands of lizards who drug her because they think she can help them take over the world.
Illuminati has some good acting and choreography, but the story is pretty lousy. Caught somewhere between campy and ridiculous, Illuminati Lizards from Outer Space never gains any traction as an interesting plot line. Most of its songs are less interesting and as musicals go, that’s a recipe for disaster. Not all the songs are horrible, however. “Miss Beautiful World” and “We Know What They Don’t Know ” are pretty good, well choreographed, but not many other songs are overwhelming.
The sound and lighting were well done. Rider Q. Stanton did a nice job with the sound design. From the beginning with the storm to the effects of the Supreme General, Stanton made the most of a lousy situation.
Under glam lighting, Jamie Roderick keep the show up beat with the purple, orange, yellows, and greens. Roderick was particularly effective during the dance numbers. Upbeat and fluent, the lighting was both accurate and entertaining, but not enough to carry this musical.
Director Joey Murray did not reign in the characters and the end result was a mish mosh and a slip shod production. Regardless of the actors giving their best, this show was lost in space between insipid and boring. The lackluster material did not help the directing cause in this musical.
Illuminati Lizards from Outer Space tried to have a little of everything, from #metoo, the environment, illegal immigration, and the good vs evil angle. The musical, however, never really settled into anything meaningful or something that the audience could sink its teeth into. It did not help that it got very confusing at times, partly because of bad staging, mostly because of a bad book. The humor for the most part fell flat, even unnoticed.
Dani Spieler was good as Tina, Brian Charles Rooney was good as the Janitor, and Tom Deckman was also good in his role as Klaus. The cast in general was acceptable—it’s that they had little to work with and were left with good efforts but little meat on the bone to play with.
Paul Western-Pittard took a shot at trying to make an absurd book with catchy lyrics. Trying to create camp and silly humor just did not work here in this musical. The arrangements were also very bland and drab. Unfortunately the ninety minutes started to become tortuous around the forty five minute mark leaving us wondering when this musical tragedy would come to its conclusion.
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