It's impossible to glean whether Mark McDaniels and Donald Garverick want to mirror the success of Disney's High School Musical or parody it with Show Choir! The Musical. As the show charts the rise of an Ohio high school choir to the apex of global superstardom under the direction of Jake Jonathan (Brian Michael Flanagan), who's part Momma Rose and part Harold Hill, we suspect it's the latter. But Show Choir! never develops any true satiric bite, settling instead for a bland, overly familiar depiction of celebrity brought down by the trappings of fame (booze, sex, and ego).
Director-choreographer Gary Slavin's sluggish production only emphasizes the show's heavy book, and his staging of the musical's myriad production numbers (instantly forgettable tunes with ill-fitting lyrics) often brings to mind the hokey routines from TV variety shows. The cast delivers the material with verve, beaming gamely throughout, but for audiences, there's little to smile about here.
Presented by McG Productions as part of the New York International Fringe Festival
at the Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker St., NYC.
Aug. 10-23. Remaining performances: Sun., Aug. 19, noon; Wed., Aug. 22, 4 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 23, 9:45 p.m.
(212) 279-4488 or (888) 374-6436 or www.fringenyc.org.