Bayside High School Musical

Basing this musical on NBC's teenage sitcom "Saved by the Bell," writer-director Ren Casey pulls out all the stops in the 60-minute homage. It's a satisfyingly fast-paced, scatter-shot, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink experience, even if one isn't intimately familiar with the production's source material. Storyline references fly fast and furious, not to mention sharply barbed comments on where the various cast members' career paths have taken them since the show left the air in 1993. Casey pulls triple duty, playing A.C. Slater, originated by Mario López, and heading up a cast whose nearly perfect impressions and stylized performances are nostalgically amusing.

As Zack Morris, Bayside High School's hunk, Eddie Zamora is a bouncing ball of hair gel and testosterone. He's the quintessential Valley Boy to cheerleader girlfriend Kelly, played with aplomb by Anne Clare Graham. The male contingent's third wheel, Greg D. Barnett, is a suitable Screech Powers, although this production focuses less on his character than did the TV series. Lara Hughes' comic nerdiness as Screech's main squeeze, Violet Bickerstaff, balances nicely with her obviously trained lyric soprano range. Strong support is offered throughout by Lynn Downey, Aliza Pearl, Ellen Caranasos, Tonilyn Hornung, Richard Van Slyke as Mr. Belding, and in particular, Luke Barnett, whose facile array of increasingly outrageous cameo roles is credited in the program as Everybody Else.

Although sound levels for the musical accompaniment occasionally overpower Casey's witty lyrics, what is lost in intelligibility is more than made up for with the uncredited choreography. Demonstrative and clearly intended to conflict with rather than augment each song's intentions, the results are gut-bustingly funny. A pair of full-company numbers are even intentionally lip-synched with all the over-articulation and gesticulation seen in taped sitcoms of the period. Skewering topics such as drug addiction, romantic crises, personal responsibility, and even environmental concerns, this is a brisk skip down memory lane in which the gang awaits you at the neighborhood hangout with a hearty "Hey, guys!"

Presented by the Renegade Gang at the Victory Theatre Center, 3324 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Aug. 10-Oct. 26. Wed., 8 & 10 p.m. (323) 300-4956.