Monday, August 15, 2011

FRINGE: The Bardy Bunch: The War of the Families Partridge and Brady

If you thought Romeo and Juliet was a story of woe, wait until you hear the tragedy of Keith Partridge and Marcia Brady. The Bardy Bunch: The War of the Families Partridge and Brady is The Brady Bunch meets The Partridge Family meets Romeo and Juliet meets Macbeth meets Hamlet meets Much Ado About Nothing, with bits of other Shakespeare plays thrown in for good measure. So if you're a fan of either singing family or Shakespeare, you will probably find something to enjoy in this violent musical comedy.

The story takes place in the summer of '74, after both shows went off the air. The Partridges and the Bradys are in a Montague/Capulet-type feud when Keith (Erik Keiser) and Marcia (Cali Elizabeth Moore) fall in love. They devise a plan to trick Greg Brady (A.J. Shively) and Laurie Partridge (Carina Zabrodsky) into falling in love. Meanwhile, Carol Brady (Susan J. Jacks) convinces her husband (Jacks's real-life husband Nick Ruggeri) to kill his boss and Danny Partridge (Adam Wald) is haunted by the memory of his father and wants revenge on his mother Shirley's (Michelle Mazza) new husband Reuben (Craig Wichman).

Playwright Stephen Garvey clearly knows his Bradys, Partridges, and Shakespeare. Some of the Shakespeare jokes are appropriately sitcom corny. I particularly enjoyed references to my favorite Brady Bunch episodes, and I didn't feel like I was missing out when The Partridge Family references went over my head.

Eighteen is a large cast by Fringe standards and director Jay Stern deftly maneuvers the chaos. Everybody in the cast fits into their roles perfectly. Standouts include the four young lovers and Jonathan Grunert as Peter, whose "It's Time To Change" is one of the high points of the evening. Logan Medland has done a fantastic job of arranging the songs like "I Woke Up In Love This Morning" for musical theater storytelling. Lorna Ventura's choreography also lovingly references the sitcoms.

There are only three performances left and Friday's is already sold out, so if this sounds like your type of show, I'd suggest buying a ticket soon.

Remaining performances: Fri 19 @ 9, Sun 21 @ 8:45, and Wed 24 @ 2

Photo caption: Erik Keiser as Keith Partridge and A.J. Shively as Greg Brady
Photo credit: Tom Henning


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more! Get your tickets now - you will not regret the $15. My kids (who know nothing about either family, OR Shakespeare), LOVED the show and could not stop laughing! This one should go all the way!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fabulous show!! Who would have thought so much blood could be so funny. Very clever story!

Anonymous said...

I grew up on The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family and couldn't get over how pitch perfect the sound and look of the show was! It's hilarious!

wich2 said...

Many thanks, Pataphysical and commenters.

It's been hard work, and we all are thrilled that we've "made you happy..."

-Craig Wichman
(aka Reuben KIncaid)

Apollonia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
karissimah said...

oh MY. SO good. and SO FREAKING FUNNY! I saw the brilliant mash-up that is the Bardy Bunch on opening day and wish I could go back! The musical numbers were a hoot and the script was just hilarious. The characterization was spot on for all, but Jan took the cake and as overlooked middle child. Peter was brilliant too! Go see this show.

Anonymous said...

I know I posted three times shilling for the show and how it was "fabulous", "hilarious" and "should go all the way", but I got into a fight with my friend who is involved with the show. So I changed my mind. Don't see it.