BWW Review: THE OFFICE; A MUSICAL PARODY at Starlight Theatre Indoors
The Musical Parody of TV's THE OFFICE is for those who are devoted fans of the 2005 - 2013 NBC comedy series. This is an unauthorized version, but it is probable that the best audience members for the parody are those most steeped in the developmental history of how the source show came to be.
Most parodies make fun of straight storylines of some sort. THE OFFICE Musical Parody makes fun of a show that made fun of a British show that made fun of an office environment with extra outrageous characters shot as if it were a documentary. It is the ultimate inside, inside joke. You have to know the joke to get the parody of the joke.
Those who are students of the American version of the British Office will really really enjoy themselves. Others may have to be left kind of in the dust. The opening gambit is an example. A big deal is made of all the supposed cameras in the room. If you don't know that the original idea was a single camera documentary, you start off confused.
THE OFFICE was a TV version of a mockumentary film on the order of the Christopher Guest classics THIS IS SPINAL TAP, MIGHTY WIND, or BEST IN SHOW. The UK series starred Ricky Gervais. The NBC comedy version starred Steve Carrell, Rainn Wilson, and John Krasinski. When THE OFFICE premiered in 2005, It took a while for American audiences to get the documentary camera joke, but then the show became a cult favorite.
The Musical Parody incarnation of THE OFFICE is brought to you by Right Angle productions, the folks who have created similar mash-ups of FRIENDS, FULL HOUSE, and 90210 among others. If this is your cup of tea, you are in for a rollicking good time.
A talented cast of ten dances, sings, and mugs their way through the two hour adaption. While there are a reasonable number of allusions to outside source material like the "I Feel Pretty" number and the send-up of the Muppets "Rainbow Connection," you really have to know that Mindy Kaling was the diversity hire allusion on the series after the first season and that Ricky Gervais was the original boss and an American producer.
The cast plays multiple roles. They are Emma Brock in the Steve Carrell role, Christian Wilson as the Rainn Wilson character, Patrick Constant in the John Krasinski part, and Madeline Glenn Thomas standing in for Jenna Fischer. Backing them up is Gabrielle Filloux, Yamuna Meleth, Tim Flowers, Devina Sabnis, Nathan David Smith, and Kelsey Ann Sutton. This crew does a fine job of following through on both the playwright's and director's vision. The book and lyrics are by Bob and Tobly McSmith with music by Assaf Gleizner. The Off-Broadway version of THE OFFICE is currently at the Jerry Orbach Theater at the Theater Center in New York City. Some cast members have transitioned from the New York company to this tour.
THE OFFICE Musical Parody continues at Starlight Theatre Indoors through February 9. Tickets are available online or by telephone at 816-363-7827.