Monday, September 22, 2008


photo: Quinn Batson

This ridiculously enjoyable pop-rock sci-fi musical, in which an uptight lady exterminator's custom-made spray accidentally turns the city's bedbugs into giant rock singing man-eaters bent on world domination, is the kind of cheesy silliness that has so often been done badly in the past that it's a wonderful shock to see it done so well. The score (music by Paul Leschen, lyrics by bookwriter Fred Sauter) satirizes power-pop ballads and old school hair-band rock anthems while still delivering their pleasures - as performed by Chris Hall (every bit the rock icon as the king of the bugs), Celina Carvajal (a vocal powerhouse as the lady bug killer turned bug lover), and especially Brian Charles Rooney (in drag and brilliantly sending up a pop superstar named - one guess who this is based on - Salon Dionne) the songs are a goofy arena-rock blast. Top to bottom everyone in the ensemble is with the spirit of the material; I haven't had as much what-a-goof, laugh-out-loud fun at a campy musical since the first time I saw Rocky Horror.

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