Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Broadway Bounty Hunter

Ya gotta love Annie Golden. She has a sweetness to her, with a wild voice and a slightly goofy vibe. For a creative team to decide to shape a musical around her--even going so far as to name the main character "Annie Golden"--is a no-brainer, particularly now that Golden is famous outside of theatre from her stint on Orange Is the New Black. 

Golden, Green
Photo: Matthew Murphy
Broadway Bounty Hunter is the story of a "woman of a certain age" who has lost her husband and seems to be losing her career. She feels terribly unappreciated and worries about her future, telling her woes to the photo she keeps of her beloved late spouse. The path in front of her seems dire, at best.

And then Annie is recruited to be a bounty hunter. After intense training, she is sent with a reluctant partner to South America to bring back the drug lord Mac Roundtree. Unsurprisingly, Annie and the partner grow to like each other.

Every part of Broadway Bounty Hunter plays with-satirizes-honors-relies on '80s movie styles or cliché tropes or other musical satires or union organizing (really) or the usefulness of acting skills in real-life situations. The energetic cast works their butts off as the show roller-coasters from event to event, song to song, dance to dance, and joke to joke. It is a noisy, in-your-face, overdone, silly evening. And if you like that sort of thing, you might well love it.

I sometimes like that sort of thing, and I had mixed feelings. The noisiness became abrasive; the stage was too small; the chorus was too small; many lyrics were lost when more than one person was singing; the almost-constant dancing lacked creativity and polish; the cast was uneven; the score was uneven; Golden's big second act number was bland; the show was too long; and, although I hate to say this, Golden seemed harried by the frenetic pace and wasn't as good as she usually is. Oh, and the seats at the theatre offer neither comfort nor decent sight lines.

The strengths: some great jokes; some nice songs; Alan H. Green as Annie's reluctant partner; Brad Oscar as Mac Roundtree; Emily Borromeo as the martial arts master who recruits Annie; Annie Golden's singing and presence; the generally good-hearted, enthusiastic vibe.

To mix metaphors, Broadway Bounty Hunter is a mixed bag, but it may be your cup of tea.

Wendy Caster
(8th row, press ticket)

Broadway Bounty Hunter video.

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