Saturday, August 18, 2007

FRINGE: Bukowsical

Photo/Lili Von Schtupp

Spencer Green and Gary Stockdale aren't as ambitious (or as timely) as Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis (of Urinetown fame), but their crude, lewd, and toe-tapping musical, Bukowskical! plays pitch-perfect to anyone who's ever picked up a pencil. From the advice of that good to the last drop muse, Sweet Lady Booze ("Take Me"), to the instruction of masochistic parents ("Art is Pain"), to the down, dark, and dirty advice of Faulkner, Plath, Williams, and Burroughs ("Writing Lesson"), Bukowsical transforms hardship into hilarity, and though it veers way off the path of Bukowski's life (even more so than its metadramatic presentation as a backer's audition), it only does so to squeeze in a few more debauched jokes. Bukowski (Brad Blaisdell) makes the jazz is downright lascivious on "Love Is (A Dog From Hell)," and Fleur Phillips, who plays Buk's One True Love, is the perfect coloratura contrast on songs like "Chaser of My Heart" or the contrapuntal duet of "Remember Me"/"Elegy." I had a wonderful time, got blown away by all but one of the cast (Ian Gould), and seriously recommend this to everyone.

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