Beware the buzzed-about Fringe show. It's impossible to guess how shows will fare until they begin performances and it's often the ones that sound best on paper that end up disappointing. Bunked!, a musical about summer camp counselors, sounds like a campy (pun only partially intended) good time, but the lack of dramatic tension makes for a tedious evening.
Each counselor is a stereotype: Anabel (Amanda Jane Cooper) the goody two shoes, her flamboyant twin Oliver (Tim Ehrlich), Carmen (Lizzie Klemperer) the bitch with a heart of gold underneath, Max (Jake Loewenthal) the boy with a secret, and Stewart (Ben Moss) the over-achiever who is sick of doing what his parents want. There are themes of summer romance and jealousy, but there isn't much of a story arc. In the opening song, "Best Summer Ever," Seth Sikes's direction is over-the-top, setting the audience up for silliness, but the show ends up being too sincere for its own good. When serious topics such as suicide are introduced, they feel forced, and the characters are too one-dimensional for us to care, as much as the hard-working cast tries. The most successful bits of the evening are the loudspeaker announcements provided by Michael Urie.
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