An Inconvenient Musical made me feel great. It was like a great episode of The Simpsons. There were a lot of good vibes coming from the stage.
The plot is a spoof on the 2007 documentary of a similar title that follows Al Gore as he gives a presentation on global warming. In this version, the former VP has decided that PowerPoint just isn’t powerful enough. He is instead harnessing the most powerful medium he knows: musical theatre. Imagine all those slides now as sketches in musical theatre. All loosely strung together as examples of the consequences of global warming. An Inconvenient Musical isn’t serious in the slightest, but for me was at least as effective – if not more effective – than the source material it spoofs.
My sense was that a lot of people were having a great time. In the row ahead of mine were four girls that were laughing like crazy. And beside me, I saw my dad laughing. He told me after the show that it was very entertaining. He added though that parts of it had been taken too far (meaning they had gone on too long). The intermission comes ninety-minutes into An Inconvenient Musical, and there’s still another hour to go.
The production is at the Studio at the Factory Theatre. It’s a great small space that works spectacularly well for the premise. Even though An Inconvenient Musical is a musical-within-a-musical – Gore’s lines are mostly sung – the Vice President’s role as narrator still pulled me into the action, partly because he was walking just in front of the stage and up into the audience. The other great thing about the staging is it features Waylen Miki playing his keyboard just off to the right, in front of the action.
Miki seems so cool but as he performs becomes incredibly animated. There were a few times when I saw my dad was looking over at the keyboard almost as much as the stage. Miki, also a creator of An Inconvenient Musical, puts on a great show.
The energy of the entire cast is astonishing – like the vibe I got from Miki, it wasn’t a tense, wound-up energy. This was more like improv. And it turns-out most of the cast has a background primarily in comedy. The rhythm of delivery was perfect, and the mixture of scatology and pop-culture references were generally sharp. The one exception in the humor was the ironic references to theatre conventions, for me they didn’t quite land.
I would highly recommend An Inconvenient Musical. Although I too felt it was a bit long, some of the sets – including those with C02PO and Merc, and one with David Suzuki – were so funny I wish they went on much longer.
– An Inconvenient Musical is playing at the Factory Studio Theatre (125 Bathurst)
– The show runs to June 29th; Tuesday to Saturday at 8PM; Saturday and Sunday matinee at 2PM
– Tickets are $23 Tuesday through Thursday, $28 Friday and Saturday nights, and the Saturday matinee is $23. The Sunday matinee is Pay-What-You-Can. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 416-504-9971 or at the box office.
– Please see http://www.aninconvenientmusical.com/ for more details