Mirvish presents The Office! A Musical Parody that is packed with the same raunchy humor
The gang at Dunder Mifllin are live and with song in The Office! A Musical Parody presented by Mirvish. On stage until August 25, this tribute is made for people who love — and I mean really love — The Office. So hold on to your staplers as this two-hour spectacle is rammed full (haha that’s what she said!) with laughs, songs, some pretty obscure references, and…paper.
Just like the sitcom of the same name, The Office! follows a day in the Scranton, PA branch of Dunder Mifllin, except having a boss like Michael Scott (Sarah Mackenzie Baron) makes office life anything but normal. With the number of HR complaints piling against him, Michael is hit with explosive news — no one’s buying into paper anymore and offices will need to shut down, his is next. Fueled with the need to save his branch, Michael will need to rally his troops and prepare to take on head office.
The charm of this musical lies in the cast. Baron’s performance is solid and you can see her channeling a similar wit to Steve Carell, who plays Michael on the show, into her version of the character. Likewise Christian Fary is hilarious as Dwight Schrute, the assistant manager, whose thirst for power and rampant misogyny would be alarming if it weren’t for his bumbling awkwardness.
I also loved Gabrielle Filloux as Angela and a whole slew of other characters. Though a mere quick change and a new wig transforms her from Angela into another one-off character, her transition between them are seamless and greatly executed.
However, though the laughs are there, the writing could use some work. My date Vance and I approached this musical parody from different perspectives, namely he’s watched far more of The Office sitcom than I have. Though he’s far from a super fan, I’ve barely watched the show at all and namely wanted to see if a non The Office nut would be able to garner as much joy out of the show as a die hard fan.
And that’s where we felt some things kinda fell flat. This parody seemed to draw mostly from the American sitcom and a bit from the British original. As Vance likes to point out, if you’ve only seen the British comedy, you’ll likely enjoy the first half hour. Gradually, the parody throws in references (like the bat, and suddenly there’s a bat) and one-shot characters that are definite winks to the show but are lost on someone like me.
My disconnect from the writing also seemed to alter my perceptions of the characters. Again, as someone who never watched much of the show, I interpreted Michael as being the boss who’s fun, or at least is trying to be, yet horribly crude and gets away with saying everything people secretly want to say but never do. Vance informed me that in the show Michael started as a top salesman for Dunder Mifllin by playing the sales game right. He ‘dude bro-ed’ up to get along with prospective clients and sealed the deal. In managing his team, he’s attempting to do exactly that to build camaraderie but is failing miserably.
But despite my lack of knowledge in the original material, I had an enjoyable time, as did Vance. Again, the cast is solid and do a phenomenal job with the script and the songs. It’s worth seeing The Office! A Musical Parody just for them. So dust off your Dunderpedia and get ready for one wild ride.
- The Office! A Musical Parody is playing at the CAA Theatre (651 Yonge St) until August 25 2019.
- Performance run Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 7:00 pm, with weekend matinees at 2:00 pm.
- Tickets range from $45 to $76.
- Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone by calling 416 872 1212, or in person at the box office.
- Run Time: 2 hours with intermission.
- Audience Advisory: This performance contains mature content, viewer discretion is advised. Recommended for ages 12+.
Photo of the cast by Russ Rowland