Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Bad Taste
Last night my sister and I went to see the Off-Broadway show Eat the Taste. The show had been getting almost universal good reviews, and the premise is actually pretty funny: with Bush's presidency coming to a close (it's set in the future), John Ashcroft decides that he wants to star in a one-man Broadway musical about his life... so he enlists the help of the creative team behind Urinetown to help him. Although "enlists" actually means "holds captive at gunpoint by government agents in a cheap hotel room."
Set-up aside, the play is awful. It's basically a one-joke show stretched out to 65 minutes. Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, the actual lyricist and composer of Urinetown, appear as themselves and prove that they most certainly are not actors. Yet they are almost better than the real actors, particularly the lone female, Eva van Dok. Kotis and Hollmann may be the ones "eating the taste," but she is so busy chewing the scenery and overacting that she doesn't have time to do anything else. One highpoint comes near the end when Hollmann demonstrates a brilliantly-clever new song written for Ashcroft's show called "Shaking Off the Chains." But one good bellylaugh in an hour does not a good show make.

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