by Beki Pineda

NEWSICAL – THE MUSICAL – Written by Rick Comes; updated and directed by the cast. Presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Cabaret Division (the Garner Galleria Theatre, 13th and Champa, Denver) through September 25. Tickets available at 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org.

NEWSICAL is a musical magazine that spoofs and recognizes the absurdities of modern culture as sung, danced, and acted by four talented performers. Kristin Alderson,

Taylor Crousure, Dylan Hartwell, and Carly Sakolove bring their considerable talent to the Galleria for a short tun. NEWSICAL is updated periodically by the cast to reflect the new craziness going on in the world around us. For instance, the introductory song explores the various ways people today are full of sh–! A number set in the future examines what happens to untalented celebrities when they grow older and try to hang on to their 15 minutes of fame a little longer uses Honey Boo Boo, Kim Kardashian, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (Jersey Shore), and Ryan Seacrest as examples.

We learn about the Covid protections Disneyland put into place, the reality of infomercials, the absurdity of the Heard vs. Depp trial and watch what happens to Star Wars geeks. Especially funny was a skit explaining how James Madison is thoroughly ticked off that he hasn’t had a musical written about him yet. He talks about the inadequacy of the Constitution – that he wrote, for Pete’s sake – to address the issue of gun rights. He reminds us forcefully that when they wrote that revered document, they were talking about MUSKETS, for crap’s sake. Kristen does a fun spoof of Brittany Spears “twirling on Instagram.”  Carly mimics with startling accuracy Jennifer Coolidge as the new  pissed off voice of GPS and Adele singing a commercial. In a skit about celebrities looking for new jobs when the pandemic shut them down, we were treated to Bernie Sanders as a PR rep. How old is he? He’s so old his first after shave was New Spice. We got to ponder Trump promoting his own personal National Dog Show -” much, much, much better than those Westminster fellows.” Best of all, Celine Dion was reduced to singing at bar mitzvahs and does her sexy version of the Hokey Pokey.

All in all, this 90 minute show with light food and bar service at your seat is a perfect date night for those married or un. But it’s only here until the 25th, so don’t hesitate.

A WOW factor of 8.5.

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