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Posts tagged ‘Pope: The Musical’

27
Aug

Stage Rush TV: Episode 28

Talking points:

Did you snap up a discount ticket to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’s fist preview, Rushers? Were you surprised and elated (like me) when the Public staff gave out free merchandise? How many Fringe shows have you caught? Did you see Pope or Jurassic Parq? Leave your questions and thoughts in the comments!

24
Aug

FringeNYC review: Pope: The Musical

The Vatican has never seemed cooler (or more suburban) than it does in Pope: The Musical, currently playing as part of the FringeNYC festival. In typical nudge-nudge off-off-Broadway musical fashion, this silly show features a nerdy American eighth grader who dreams of one day leading all of Catholicism, instead of a rock band. Of course in this show, the two occupations sort of look the same.

On the precipice of entering high school, Pope (yes, that’s his name) bashfully avoids the affection of his adoring female friend while his classmates swoon over summer and the opposite sex. Pope has his eye on his heavenly prize, and about five minutes into the show, he gets it. Yet his cheerful reign, in which he gives sermons comparing humanity to delicious treats like blueberry muffins, is interrupted when an evil archbishop (Scott Hart) plants a false story in the news that the squeaky-clean Pope has had a tawdry affair. His congregation excommunicates Pope, and he sets out on a guilt-ridden journey that gains him loyalists dedicated to helping him reclaim his holy throne.

In Pope, the international institution that is the Vatican is shrunk to the size of a suburban American town. The corrupt journalist who corroborates with the plotting archbishop is Pope’s schoolyard bully. The nun that helps him reclaim the papacy is his childhood sweetheart. This factor is what makes Pope quaint and cute. And also thin.

Tackling an institution like the Vatican in a tongue-in-cheek off-off-Broadway musical leaves room for an interwoven message through humor. I was expecting some commentary on any number of the issues that the Vatican has faced in recent years through the show’s absurd humor, much the way Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (soon opening in a Broadway transfer) did with American politics. Alas, Pope has nothing to say. Read more »