Review by Jared Davidson
70 minutes (actual run time)/ Comedy, Musical / PG (sexual content, language, comedy violence, gore)
So, I’d bet that about 75% of people didn’t read past the title of this play before they decided to go see it. Which is only natural, really. With a title like Alien Predator: The Musical, you know what you’re getting. And Alien Predator definitely delivers on its promises. The title conjures up images of one or more of the following: Arnold, Predator, guns, bombs, “get to the choppa!,” “you are one ugly so-and-so,” and so on. And all of those things are there, and boy, golly, are they there.
So, to the 25% of people who decided to read past the title, here’s the review for Alien Predator: The Musical.
As with many musicals, the best part of this musical is the music. The show is at its absolute best when there’s a song to sing, and Bryan Cook (the man behind the music, lyrics, and literally behind the piano) delivers excellent song after excellent song. The man is clearly talented at parody, but what sells the hilarity of the music all the more is the terrible singing. I’m talking singing so terrible that it elevates the show to new heights of comedy. See, in this case, bad singing is good! It’s like a Mel Brooks movie like that.
If you’re not laughing at the hilarious singing, the campy gesticulating of the singers will no doubt win you over. The production revels in its low-budget nature, no doubt as a dig at the source material. At times Cook will hold up signs painted on poster-board that say things like “Key Plot Point.” The set itself consists of exactly three things, and all of them are plastic trees. Brilliant!
And if the atmosphere and posturing of the players doesn’t get you, the genuinely laugh-worthy lyrics will. Most of the lines are perfect examples of spot-on parody, and every song opens up a wonderful creative pandora’s box of hilarity.
It’s not without its hiccups, however, and the show suffers somewhat by taking some of its humour a little too far. The best example of this is the constant lewd humour. Now, here I should say that I have no problem with lewdness, even extreme lewdness, as long as it remains funny, but here it goes past the point of too-much-repetition. For example, in the space of about five minute, the same joke (involving menstruation – oh yeah, the main characters are female) is repeated maybe half a dozen times, and each time it gets a little less funny.
That aside, the show is full of fantastic set pieces. The suit that the predator wears (let alone what the predator does) is something that needs to be seen, because it is excellent. So much of this play had the sold-out audience in uproar that I would have no problem calling this play a “magnificent romp.” However, given the play’s fairly consistent sexual content, I wonder if that might be mistaken for a euphemism. All in all, this is an excellent play that really pulls out all the stops, and may even have you rooting for the monster.
Alien Predator: The Musical by Betty-Jane Horton and Bryan Cook is playing at Arts Court Theatre – Venue 1 on Saturday June 16 at 12:30pm, Monday June 18 at 6:30pm, Tuesday June 19 at 8:00pm, Thursday June 21 at 10:00pm, and Saturday June 23 at 12:30pm. Tickets? $10.