Sunday, September 26, 2010


The new musical Bunked! (presented as part of the Fringe Encores) tells the story of five camp counselors who hope to have the "Best Summer Ever." There's the self-aware, snappy gay guy; his chirpy nonidentical twin (picture Kristin Chenoweth at 18); the handsome bisexual guy on whom they both have crushes; the straight guy with a secret; and the snotty girl with a bigger secret. Anyone with knowledge of musicals could write a plot based on that character list and do as good a job as Bunked! The book (by Alaina Kunin and Bradford Proctor) is an awkward combination of trivial and serious, and there is little opportunity to care about the characters. The score (lyrics by Kunin and Proctor; music by Proctor) is better, with a handful of strong moments. However, the songs tend to sound (and feel) alike, and there are too many 11:00-number wanna-be's.

Three other points: (1) the hyper-enthusiasm of part of the audience, who guffawed at the smallest joke, sometimes before the joke was told, did not help the performance I saw; (2) although Bunked! has many flaws, it gives reason to hope that Kunin and Proctor keep writing; and (3) this review should be taken with a grain of salt, as I have socks older than Bunked!'s target audience.

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