Theater review by Raven Snook. Elektra Theatre (see Off Broadway). Music and lyrics by David Eric Davis. Book by Davis and Sam Forman. Dir. Jen Wineman. Ensemble cast. 1hr 40mins. No intermission.
A hit at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival, the rock-musical comedy F#%king Up Everything is heavy on numbers (21!) but light on wit. The hoary humor comes in two types: Brooklyn hipster satire (mentions of the Park Slope Food Coop and queer-theory degrees are meant to pass for jokes) and romantic tropes that were dusty back in John Hughes’s heyday.
Goofy puppeteer Christian (Max Crumm, of reality TV’s Grease: You’re the One That I Want! obscurity) falls for uke-playing Juliana (Katherine Cozumel), who has a thing for rock & roll bad boys like wool-cap-wearing douchebag Jake (Jason Gotay), whom geekette Ivy (Dawn Cantwell) is also secretly crushing on. Think Some Kind of Wonderful with songs, minus the wonderful.
Why all the snark? Because composer-lyricist David Eric Davis is clearly so much better than this. Three songs in particular give a taste of what this show could have been if it hadn’t descended into sitbomb: “If You Were Mine,” Ivy’s private plea for Jake’s affections; Juliana’s love confession, “Falling”; and the “Awkward Silence” duet between pals realizing they’re more than besties. All of these numbers are clever, catchy and show real depth of character. But then a ditty like “Arielle’s Areolas” slaps you back to inanity. Davis has a bright future ahead of him if he stops using his title as a playbook.—Raven Snook
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
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OMG! I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. What an incredible show. You gotta see it. I can't wait to see it again. I went home singing the songs and I haven't stopped singing them. The songwriting is absolutely fantastic. All the sharp and current humor serves a really touching story about love and friendship and living in NYC. AMAZINGLY FRESH AND INSPIRING!
We love this play. No matter where the audience members where from they were transported to real life Brooklyn. We felt like we were right there in McCarron Park and Brooklyn Bowl Etc... Never a dull moment during this 100 minute romatic/drama/comedy. We were itching for an encore and still have the catchy tunes stuck in our head. Actors were original, enthusiastic and creative. They Performed like true stars. Highly recomend to all our friends. Loved!
This is one Fun show. Great music, fantastic lyrics and a sweet little story that will leaving you smiling and feeling good. I had the greatest time in the theater I have had in a long time. I can't remember the last time I left the theater humming the songs. The cast is talented, lively and very much into their parts. The fun moves along at a very quick pace. Go See This Show, You Will Love It.