Monday, May 19, 2008


The teen film Saved, set in a Christian high school where a popular senior girl ditches her abstinence in order to cure her homo boyfriend, was pitched for satire; this musical adaptation is instead overly earnest and desperate not to offend, weighing down its heroine with so many wet, sincere "these are my feelings" songs that it's easy to forget that it's supposed to be a comedy. Played so often straight, the material feels tired; compared to Altar Boyz, which manages smart comedy while still respecting faith, it feels positively old and square. As long as you can accept that twenty-somethings are playing high school kids, the cast (which includes Curtis Holbrook, Celia Keenan Bolger, Aaron Tveit, and Mary Faber) is delightful - whenever my mind wandered I imagined hijacking them for a revival of Carrie: The Musical - and although the score has too many drippy ballads and some dreadful lyrics ("LIfe is screwy/So grab on to a life buoy") there is at least one song ("Heaven", easily the best production number in the show) that works splendidly as is and confirms that Saved might be savable with further development.

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