Friday, April 16, 2010

A Bloody Good Time

If you're looking for an inexpensive, entertaining musical and don't mind getting a little blood splashed on you, look no further than Bloodsong of Love: A Rock and Roll Spaghetti Musical by Joe Iconis, playing at Ars Nova through May 9.

The protagonist, known as The Musician (a dashing Eric William Morris), falls in love with Santa Violetta (MK Lawson), only to have her taken from him by Lo Cocodrilo (Jeremy Morse). The musical follows him on his journey to get her back, but the heart of the story is the bromance between The Musician and his childlike friend Banana (a scene-stealing Lance Rubin). The whole cast is not only strong in the vocal department, but fully committed to whatever zaniness is required.

I was frankly underwhelmed with other Iconis shows I've seen, Rewrite and Things To Ruin, but I finally see why he is considered such a promising musical theater composer. The score is catchy, so much so that my friend and I were humming it as we left the theater, which seems to be a rarity these days. As funny as the book scenes are, sometimes less is more, especially in a show as silly as this one. The show would be stronger at a tight 90 minutes with no intermission (it currently runs about two hours and ten minutes including intermission).

Set designer Michael Schweikardt makes excellent use of the small space, cleverly incorporating a moving walkway. The costumes by Michelle Eden Humphrey are simple, yet effective, especially small touches like a snake belt for Lo Cocodrilo and Where's Waldo boxers for Banana.

Tickets cost only $25 but for bargain hunters, the splatter zone seats are $15. Ponchos are provided to shelter you from the bloodbath.

Photo credit: Peter James Zielinski


Aaron Riccio said...

Thanks for alerting me that your review was up--was curious to see what you thought. And yes, we are in agreement, right down to liking this more than other Iconis productions. And yes, I keep humming the chorus of "Turkey Leg" and "Ask You Twice," though to be fair, those themes kept getting repeated throughout.

You're probably right about it being firmer as a one-act (like his other stuff), but I didn't mind sitting through even the repetitious bits (Hick in Overalls).

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