Glee Club – Off Broadway Theater Review
THE WORLD WILL MAKE YOU SMILE
by Andrew Turner
published March 21, 2010
now playing Off Broadway at Access Theater
through April 3
All of the characters of the Blue Coyote Theatre Group's production of Glee Club –
now playing Off Broadway at Access Theater – are downright anti-gleeful: from the red faced and petulant musical director to the crooning
alcoholic to the guy who's convinced he's dying of cancer even after he's been in remission for ten years. (There's even a creepy serial
killer!) A dark cast of characters, to be sure, and what's even more depressing is that the choral group is the only positive thing they
have in their lives.
The plot revolves around the club members readying themselves for an old age home gig where one of their founders (and only
benefactor) resides. The hitch is that their lead singer can only sing well when he's drunk –
and he's recently gone sober. Everything hinges on the other cast members trying to get him
sloshed enough to sing well, and debating the morality of such an act.
It's a convenient device, but … where to begin? The characters are already so
dark and unscrupulous that the moral question of whether or not to push a guy off the wagon seems irrelevant. And then there's the pervasive hopelessness of the characters. While this is a welcome contrast from the
corny characters in the popular TV show currently on the FOX network, it takes us only so far. It's difficult to get invested in any of
them and, as such, we don't particularly care whether or not they are able to perform.
The actors are game in doing what they can to surmount these problematic plot obstacles. Most delicious is definitely Steven Burns as Paul the Serial Killer. His blank stare and deadpan delivery are creepily hilarious.
The one and only song is called "The World Will Make You Smile." It's upbeat, peppy, and purposefully ironic, given the
hopelessness of the world these characters live in. What's even more ironic is that it actually does make you smile. It's a shame that we don't get to hear
it until the end.
andrewturner @ stageandcinema.com
photo by Kyle Ancowitz