Fringeworthy

Hip Shot: ‘Assembly Required’

Assembly Required: How to Write, Produce, and Stage a Musical–The Musical!

Redrum at Fort Fringe

Remaining Performances:
Saturday, July 17, at 11 a.m.
Tuesday, July 20, at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 21, at 6 p.m.
Thursday, July 22, at 6 p.m.

They Say: "Self-proclaimed theatrical geniuses Rob and Flick (aka Assembly Required) lead an insightful assembly on everything you need to know to create and produce a smash hit original musical."

Flick, left, and Rob of 'Assembly Required.'

Flick, left, and Rob of 'Assembly Required.'

Trey's Take: "Moron comedy, Sporty-Spice flavor," I sniffed (well, I tweeted sniffily) when Rob and Flick took the stage at the Fringe preview. And lo, I was correct: Assembly Required is a tale of two doofuses convinced they've got the chops to explain how to write and produce a hit show. Failed actors both, they're peddling their "expertise" on this and other topics to the high schools of the land, where bored students — that would be you, me, and the rest of the audience — are forced to suffer through their presentations in the gym while the teachers enjoy a little break. (As for "sporty-spice" — well, they are wearing track suits.)

What wasn't entirely apparent at the preview, though — blame the Baldacchino heat, the unruly-attendee noise, maybe the delicious Two-Hearted Ale — is that Joshua Morgan and Brian Sutow well do have the chops to break down what makes a good musical — and to make their alter egos' antics pretty damn funny besides. If in fact your ambition is to write a prison musical starring a poodle named Penie, then Rob and Flick are definitely your guys. Because Rob and Flick? They're not entirely right.

Not entirely right, as you might expect, makes for a good deal of hilariously wrong: From Penie's dream ballet to the doggie love duet the guys "write" "on the spot"– "Your crotch smells like love/Your balls smell like joy," Sutow croons rapturously, in between hearty inhales — they run down the bare minimum you'll need to master if you're going to be the Rodgers, Hammerstein, Lloyd Webber or LaChiusa. They go behind the scenes, too, explaining how (not to) raise money, book a hall, and stage your show. The first involves the confession that they'll do almost anything (which they will eventually prove) to separate backers from their bucks; the latter involves a demonstration of the quick-change that I will not soon forget.

No, make that "ever."

See It If: You're an actor who's ever had an uncomfortably intimate moment with your dresser. Or you're anyone else — as long as you're not easily offended.

Skip It If: Intense, short-tempered young men with unblinking blue eyes make you think anxiously of serial killers and psychosis.

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