Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tragedy! (A Musical Comedy)

I've never walked out of a show before; Tragedy! has the dubious honor of winning that distinction. I can't, in faith, review something I didn't watch all the way through, but after the amateurish first act, I'd seen enough of this Titus Andronicus satire. Aside from the tinny, MIDI-like sound quality, and the poor, straining voices (most notably that of Titus's son, Lucius), I found the musical to be offensive. "Rape's Just Another Way of Saying 'I Love You'," would have to be far cleverer to work, and "You Can't Spell 'Moor' Without 'B-L-A-C-K'," is the first rap song I've ever heard to be racist against itself. Satire and irony are dangerous tools when cast about blindly; Trey Parker and Matt Stone managed to harness this in Cannibal! The Musical!, but Michael Johnson's overly indulgent, recklessly bad production is just a mess.

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