“College,” Set to Music
By Thomas Brandon
With song titles like “Alcohol”, “Accidental Daddy,” and “I’m So Happy You’re Clean,” College The Musical: A Musical About College is anything but shy about its subject matter. Even the title suggests an ironic sensibility ready to skewer a common staple of modern life.
Centering on the loves and lusts of freshman Amy and friends, the show is a collection of (mostly) musical vignettes united more by tone than narrative. It’s a kind of long-form sketch comedy, with the vast majority of the scenes designed as a comedic “shock and awe” campaign, presenting intimate, difficult topics through mock-earnest show tunes. The juxtaposition of overly-descriptive lyrics with the melody of a sensitive ballad is funny at first, but most of the songs aim for the same effect and, as a result, start to run together.
Though slightly one-dimensional, the material is buoyed by the genuine likeability of its two performers, Kelly Meyersfield and Evan Wecksell. Both have an easy presence on stage, and they are clearly having fun. Wecksell (in multiple roles) comes across like someone you’re sure you’ve already met in real life. Meyersfield (also tackling multiple characters) feels like something all her own, a combination of fierce and bubbly with a touch of anarchy in her eyes.
After so much cheerful cynicism all around, the resolutions of the various storylines feel forced and don’t match the satiric heights of earlier moments. The final result is often clever, but never really moves beyond the novelty of its own mischief.
“College The Musical: A Musical About College” is at the Avery Schreiber Theater (11050 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood). Performances are Fridays at 8 p.m. through May 28th. General admission is $17. Discounts available for online purchase. To order tickets call (818) 766-9100 or visit www.collegethemusical.net