through Sunday, Jan. 7, at the INB Center
It's a fun show. The songs are catchy, particularly if you blast the soundtrack afterwards in order to relive the experience.
Some of the vaudeville jokes fell flat, but it sped right by. Jerry O'Boyle plays Edna as kinder, less campy, less raspy than Harvey Fierstein. The jail sequence is too silly, and the Penny/Seaweed interracial romance seems forced, but it's refreshing to have a musical push a political theme (admittedly, anti-racism is an easy cupcake to bake, but still). Bobo and his daughter were whistling and singing about seven different tunes afterwards -- and the less melodically memorable ones, like Run and Tell That and I Know Where I've Been still pack a powerful punch. The staging, I'm told -- remote-control rats, go-go dancers in silhouette, the opening shot of Tracy lying in bed, the flashing video board, the angled roll-on brownstones, that rat's nest of microphones at the radio station -- were all in the original Broadway staging by Jack O'Brien. Not a weak link in the cast.
I guess "Backstage to Broadway" shows on Saturday at 6 pm on channel 114 (I don't get it, either) and thereafter in a podcast at kxly.com and inlander.com through mid-Feb. We had Tracy and Edna Turnblad on the show (Brooklynn Pulver and Jerry O'Boyle) along with the show's wig supervisor and company manager -- and the students from SFCC were great. (Don't forget, they're doing *R&J* in early March.) There's an *Annie* preview included, too.