Sunday, August 12, 2007

Show Choir! The Musical

In "VH1 Behind The Music" style, this Fringe Fest musical recounts the rise and fall of a fictional superstar show choir (think big smiles, sequined uniforms and the blandest kind of geeky choir pop) who for a time take the international music scene by storm. That's a joke to anyone who has even the slightest awareness of what drives pop music, but this show is a mockumentary only by dint of it being make-believe; it isn't shaped to be spoof, nor satire, nor camp. It's depressingly earnest and unimaginative - we're meant to go along with the conceit, and watch as one band-breaking-up cliche plays out after another: fame goes to the choir director's head and he hogs the spotlight, one choir girl gets drunk and becomes fodder for the gutter press, the songwriter starts moonlighting elsewhere, and so on. There is nothing at stake in this straight-faced fantasy - the documentary format doesn't even invite us to root for the choir to be a success, since that's a given at the start - and the show exists in a vacuum, not the least bit interested in commenting on real-life pop culture at all. It's nothing more than an excuse for sequins and songs.

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