It’s a busy week for musicals on Granville Island. A New Brain previewed last night, and tomorrow is the preview of Altar Boyz. But tonight was all about the opening of The Supermusical.
The Handbagler (Angela Towndrow) is armed and dangerous.
The plot revolves around a city of super-heroes and super-villains who must come together to foil an extra-terrestrial plot to destroy the planet.
The Broadway Chorus uses songs from existing popular movie, TV, and stage musicals and fits them into an original script. The tricky part is making show-specific lyrics work anew without making major changes. This particular production borrows from fan favourites Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone and Hairspray, to mention only a few.
The best moments are in novel interpretations of well-known songs. ” A Whole New World” (Aladdin) is re-imagined by malevolent aliens viewing Earth from outer space. “Welcome to the 60s” (Hairspray) becomes current again after some super-heroic time travel.
Extra marks go to cleverly working in the song “96,000” (In The Heights), even though many of its lyrics deal with how winning the lottery would benefit the residents of an urban multi-racial neighbourhood.
Two original songs by wife and husband team, Sarah and Gil Jaysmith are also featured, and seamlessly fit in with the rest of the catalogue.
A couple of the featured singers didn’t quite pull off some of their numbers (“Big Best Shoes” and “You Gotta Have a Gimmick”), as I strained to hear them, even from the second row. The energy was also hit-or-miss, with some chorus members fully embracing their onstage personae and others seeming like they’d rather be somewhere else.
For ardent fans of the musical-genre, this show is worth seeing, but isn’t likely to be appreciated by the unconverted.
The Supermusical plays at 8 p.m. through June 20th at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. To reserve tickets, call 778-322-7182.