Fringe Festival review: Shine---A Burlesque Musical

shinesmall1Shine: A Burlesque Musical
Despite its laudable effort to include adults-only raunch, Shine could not be more conventional in some ways. Yes, a couple of the show's songs, like "The Nasty," feature pornographic lyrics; and yes, sooner or later, the men go shirtless and the women strip down to their pasties, with tassels that they twirl energetically. But there are three different songs about Broadway, and the hoariest of let's-put-on-a-show plots: Shine Mionne (played by Cass King, the musical's cowriter and cocomposer) has inherited a once-hip burlesque house from her grandfather, a drag queen, but hard times force her to either sell it to a marketing executive or allow him to produce her show (toning it down to bring in the neighborhood's yuppies). If the book is derivative, however, there is entertainment and even wit in the musical numbers, written in a variety of styles; the lyrics are clever, the choreography is fun, and some of the costumes are hilarious. At half of its current two-hour length, Shine might really sparkle.—Jonathan Mandell