Photo by Don Kellogg

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Balls: The Musical?

It began with $6,000 from a Kickstarter campaign this past summer, raised to bring this new musical parody to the stage at the New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMF).  Sold-out and extended at NYMF, this show is back by popular demand and now making a new run, this time off-Broadway at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row.

A few disclaimers are necessary up front 1) I'm not related to the director (Kasey Marino) although we're both kinda cute 2) my ticket was comp'd and 3) despite both of these facts, I won a free bottle of Vodka at the show - yes you read that correctly - a 1 litre bottle of - get this - Balls Vodka!  The vodka tie-in is sorta interesting given the name.  I've yet to open the bottle, but i assume that's what's actually inside.

The show, unabashedly and quite appropriately, advertises itself as A Bro-Tastic musical parody about Besties with Testes.  Created by a very clever and talented young group of men including Bret Carr, (adorable) Mick Bonde, Brandon Ellis, Michael "Tuba"  McKinsey, and Nick Verina, the parody, generally quick-paced although at time a bit clunky, manages to move through the story of 5 young straight-men who have decided to peruse a career in an unlikely field - musical theatre - with wild and reckless testosterone-filled abandon.

Musical Director, Arranger and Pianist, Sonny Paladino does a terrific job at tinkling the ivories with classic hits from Chicago, Mame, Company, Guys and Dolls, La Cage aux Folles, and others turning them into hysterical, over-the-top titalating tunes and bawdy boy-ballads filled with manhood swelling lyrics.   The show's parody genre immediately brought to mind another fan-favorite, Gerard Alessandrini's Forbidden Broadway.  This show, however, has an actual story and that certainly sets it apart and makes it more than a scene stealing parody show.

I haven't tried the Vodka yet (it's only 10:30am and I'm out of tomato juice), but i must admit it's a catchy tie-in for this show.  For the record, all you have to do to win one is buy a ticket and tweet something funny about the show just before the curtain goes up and one of the boys will bring their iPad up to the stage, check the @ballsthemusical account and pick a winner.

Now, if only those cute boys weren't so straight...   Maybe after a few shots of this magical vodka, that too, will change.