BOTTOM LINE: Rarely do I see a show that makes me so delightfully happy I want to share it with everyone. [title of show] is incredibly clever in its self-deprecation and wonderfully relatable in its sincerity.
[title of show] is a musical, but its comic value may be more important than its contribution to musical theatre. It’s sort of in the vein of Arrested Development and The Office, with a highly self-aware sense of humor. The characters are flawed but real; they’re almost tragic heroes in their struggles. And hovering over their journey and eventual triumph is a cloud of self-deprecating snarkiness and shameless mocking of those who get in their way.
At the risk of revealing too much, here’s a brief plot summary: Two guys named Hunter and Jeff want to write a musical to submit to a New York musical theatre festival, and they decide that their show should be about two guys named Hunter and Jeff who want to write a musical. They rope their friends Susan and Heidi into being in the production, and because they can’t think of a good name and must provide one on the entry form, they just leave it as “[title of show].”
If you’re in any way a fan of musical theatre, this show is right up your alley. Although universally funny and appealing, there are some inside jokes that spice up the script if you’re familiar with the references. For the theatre industry and theatre fans, it’s a must-see, but others will find its themes easy to relate to as well — it’s about the struggle to do what makes you happy and how you need the support of friends to get you through.
True to the events the audience sees onstage, [title of show] actually did premiere in 2004 at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. It was subsequently given a run off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre, and earlier this month it opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre. (Naturally those moments are major plot points in the play’s current run.) [title of show] is the journey of the little musical that dreamt big and eventually achieved its ultimate, shmammy goal.
Check out [title of show] at the Lyceum Theatre, 145 W. 45th St., for the relatively affordable price of $26.50-$101.50. Or play the Lyceum’s ticket lottery 90 minutes before showtime at the box office and win up to two front-row tickets for $26.50 each. Visit titleofshow.com for more info, and stop by theatreiseasy.com for more NY theatre reviews and information.