Attack of the Elvis Impersonators
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Theater review by Raven Snook
With the Fringe Festival on hiatus this year, those in desperate need of summer camp can get a fix at Lory Lazarus’s kitschy new musical, Attack of the Elvis Impersonators. Hair-metal hunk Drac Frenzie (Eric Sciotto), a hard-core Elvis Presley fan, is transformed into his idol by a magic locket; soon he’s crooning retro rock tunes, wooing a dish named Priscilla (Laura Woyasz) and spreading the gospel of “Hound Dog,” his personal religion of peace. But with the Antichrist (a Steve Bannon–styled Jim Borstelmann) in hot pursuit, can the King continue to rule?
The show is as baffling as it sounds, but worse, it’s bland and unfunny: A covfefe reference easily earns the biggest laugh of the evening. The 20-odd musical numbers, though derivative, are catchy and deserve a better book than the one that Lazarus, best known as a songwriter for Barney the Dinosaur, has crafted around them. The performers are blessed with powerful pipes, and they bite into the inanity with whole-hound commitment, matched by Don Stephenson’s frenetic staging. But no matter how hard they try to deliver it, the material all but screams “return to sender.”
Lion Theatre at Theatre Row (Off Broadway). Music, lyrics and book by Lory Lazarus. Directed by Don Stephenson. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs. One intermission.