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Application Pending: Theater review by Diane Snyder
Application Pending isn’t a musical, but Christina Bianco is something akin to a one-woman orchestra. In Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg’s deliciously twisted solo vehicle, the multivoiced wonder and Forbidden Broadway vet morphs into 43 personalities, creating a symphony of hilariously harmonious voices.
Although poking fun at the superrich and their oh-so-darling progeny is hardly uncharted territory, the satire has a spry freshness to it. Bianco's main character, the sympathetic Christine Evans, is the beleaguered new director of pre-primary admissions at an exclusive Manhattan prep school. On her first day on the job, she endures a barrage of insane and inane phone calls from entitled parents, annoying colleagues and other oddballs.
Under Sandberg’s direction, Bianco plays them all with gusto, switching personages with rapid-fire precision and vocal and physical adjustments. Some characters are cameo appearances—like those of George Clooney and a British GPS voice—but they span ages, genders, ethnicities and varying degrees of sanity.
There’s Jennica, a first-grade teacher whose ardor is aroused by her cutie-pie pupils; animal-rights activist Pat Hyman, who objects to the school’s beaver mascot; and the mother whose five-year-old has already earned raves for his performance in Chaim and the Chocolate Factory.
Edwards and Sandberg are wise not to stretch the premise beyond 75 minutes. Even wiser is the casting of a force majeure like Bianco. In their hands, private-school admissions get a well-deserved public smackdown.—Diane Snyder
Westside Theatre (see Off Broadway). By Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg. Directed by Sandberg. With Christina Bianco. Running time: 1hr 15mins. No intermission.
Follow Diane Snyder on Twitter: @DianeLSnyder