There's just one Joni song in this production, but that rates a mention, doesn't it? There's just one streaker and that's the title!
Entertainment - AP Other
Little New in '70s Flashback Musical
Wed May 7, 8:50 AM ET
By JUSTIN GLANVILLE
NEW YORK - In the good-natured but completely unnecessary "Streakin': A Musical Flashback to the 1970s," the fashions and pop culture of the Me Decade come in for yet another satirical beating.
If polyester, The Village People and "The Brady Bunch" still make you snicker, this show is for you. If not, it could be a long night in the Land of Travolta.
The main problem with "Streakin'" is that it doesn't find much new material to skewer. Instead, writer-director Jamie Rocco lazily takes passing shots at the decade's most familiar cultural phenomena, without developing a new take on them. A paraphrase of the script might run like this: "Remember disco? Remember pet rocks? Ha!"
Occasionally, a freshly observed detail adds much-needed bite. During a sitcom send-up called "27 Bubblegum Lane," for example, canned applause greets the entrance of each cast member, in the style of "Happy Days." And in a game show skit called "Scream That Theme," Christi Moore-Leslie is spot-on as a model who compulsively hails everything on stage with a florid gesture. (Incidentally, the show gets its name from a nude streaker who runs across the stage during this scene.)
The musical numbers -- the show's real reason for existence -- suffer from the same shallowness that hampers the skits. Almost 40 songs rush by, most in abridged form, so you never get a chance to sink your teeth into anything before it's on to the next. A chorus and a verse are all you'll hear, for example, of Joni Mitchell's classic "Help Me."
Still, you can hardly fault the song selection, a survey that covers both the decade's highest highs (Don McLean's "American Pie," Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side") and lowest lows (The Village People's "YMCA," The Captain & Tennille's "Muskrat Love").
And although the cheesier songs hardly cry out for virtuosity or nuance, the ensemble cast of six handles everything with verve. They all have beautiful voices that easily fill Babalu, the Theater District nightclub where the show is playing Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays after a five-month run in Wichita, Kan.
Moore-Leslie is one of the brightest spots in the uniformly enthusiastic and talented cast. Besides her turn as the game show model, she plays the title character in a spoof of "Carrie," the 1976 Stephen King horror flick, zapping innocent patrons in a disco club. It's the night's funniest moment.
Almost as impressive is Monte Wheeler, who does a fine "American Pie" and scores plenty of laughs in a variety of roles -- everything from a perky nerd to a slick disco king.
Essentially, though, you could replicate most of the laughs in this show by renting "Saturday Night Fever," digging out your old Olivia Newton-John records, and ruminating on the following thought: People once believed pet rocks were cool.
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