[Note: This is a review of the original 2014 production of Fabulous. The 2015 encore production features a new cast.]
Fabulous!: In brief
Two drag queens on a cruise ship get into Some Like It Hot water in a wacky new musical by Dan Derby and Michael Rheault, directed by Rick Hamilton. Expect lots of campy jokes and loads of seamen.
Fabulous!: Theater review by Adam Feldman
Fabulous! is a big, corny, messy, shabby, silly queen of a show, and it’s often a lot of fun. A high-heel–stomped mash-up of Anything Goes, Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, written from a Hasty Pudding recipe and peppered with barely-double entendres, it is unabashedly nostalgic for a bygone time when Broadway musicals asked you only to check your cares and your brain at the door. Dan Derby’s libretto finds a pair of female impersonators—the shameless Laura Lee (Nick Morrett) and the plaintive Jane (the excellent Josh Kenney)—passing for biological gals on a luxury liner manned by, among others, a ferocious lesbian cruise director (Jane Aquilina, admirably wild-eyed) and a helium-loafered four-boy crew. Also on board: a movie star (the hunky Adam Kemmerer)! Best not to think about the twists that ensue in the overlong plot, and just give yourself up to the familiar zip of Michael Rheault’s melodies, the daffy spirit of musical comedy and the kick of watching twinky sailors girly-man the decks.—Theater review by Adam Feldman
THE BOTTOM LINE Buoyant camp keeps this dames-at-sea tale afloat.
Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam