As a hard-core geek (and an avid theatre enthusiast), I was very excited to attend the opening weekend of the show. I arrived in the cozy theatre and felt at home when I heard the pre-show soundtrack including “Freeze Ray,” “The Ballad of Serenity,” and “Duel of the Fates.” Upon entering the theatre, I loved that the stage was dressed in colorful convention signage and classic comic book word bubbles, circa the Showtime theme of SDCC 2010. The sweet and catchy music of the show was performed to the side of the stage by a single pianist (Ruth Judkowitz), who even had the opportunity to be roped into the action by the performers.
The entire cast truly was phenomenal, providing a fun ensemble show that allowed every actor on the stage to shine. Special notice should be given to actors Tyler Koster (Chip), Juliette Angeli (Audrina), and Wil Bowers (Emerson). Koster’s portrayal of the loyal fanboy sidekick (and Doctor Who fanatic) was natural and charismatic, and his educational tune “Who’s Who of Doctor Who” is sure to be enjoyed by every Who-niverse fan. Angeli’s voice is one of which to take note, shining the most in her ballad “Paint My Rage.” Bowers’ hysterical performance of the song “I Hate It!” - in which he professes his hatred for everything that pop culture churns out - can be commiserated with by even the most discerning geek.
For all of the lighthearted fun of Geeks!, I was unable to come to terms with the show’s use of such out-of-date stereotypes. When geeks (male and female) can only be portrayed as socially awkward, virginal basement dwellers, it makes me wonder 1) whether this show was written 10 years ago and 2) whether this show was really meant to appeal to geek audiences. In addition, it was a bit shocking to hear female geeks at a convention reading lines like, “Sounds like you need a little girl talk.” “Is that allowed here?” Coupled with the song “A Girl at Comic-Con,” which insinuated that very few, if any, women attend conventions, I felt as though I was on the wrong side of the joke. Despite the fact that the show was peppered with geeky references that signaled a well-versed fan, I felt as though Geeks! was more aligned with the TV show The Big Bang Theory, in that it was heavily targeted towards general audiences who may have geeky friends but chuckle at their silly fanboy and fangirl fancies.
Despite my singular issue with the show, I would encourage audiences to see Geeks! The Musical! Running through March 17th at the Write Act Repertory Theatre in Hollywood, the show offers a night of fun with a terrific cast and music that will stick in your head all the way home. The house was packed when I attended, so be sure to get your tickets early by visiting www.geeksthemusical.com. ($25 for adults and $20 for students/seniors)