Here is a conundrum: while I laughed a lot at “Lounge-Zilla!” I didn’t actually have fun. The curtain call was one of those “Phew! Glad that’s over” moments. And the show was barely an hour long.
I think perhaps I am:
A) too old (younger members of the audience seemed to be laughing much harder than me)
B) too female (the men were laughing harder than the women)
C) too heterosexual (although we have ascertained that I am secretly a gay man named Buzz)
What I know that I am not is too stodgy or too ignorant of the ways of the theatre. I like a wild adventure, that’s why I signed myself up to drive all the way to Simon’s Rock to see the Berkshire Fringe, and I have liked things weirder than this. No, I have to conclude that “Lounge-Zilla!” although it is apparently the current darling of the U.S. Fringe Festival circuit, is not very good theatre.
I think perhaps I have located the problem (theirs, not mine). Here’s a statement from creators/performers Fiely A. Matias and Dennis T. Giacino
“Now, one summer evening, while living in New York City, we found ourselves, as many New Yorkers do, trapped in the middle of an unfortunate evening of cabaret (overly-emoted ballads, clunky piano accompaniment, bad costuming and tons of meaningless patter – y’know the type). And after an hour of unintentional musical madness, we knew what we had to do. We whipped out our Casios, got into spoof mode and several songs, sketches, comedy bits and months of Chinese take-out later, we had banged out a one-and-a-half-man show sending up cabaret acts. So sit back, relax, place tongue firmly in cheek and enjoy the badness of the self-involved cabaret star!
‘LOUNGE-ZILLA!’ – a monster is born – and it has a microphone!
Just possibly, the idea of turning a bad evening of theatre into an even worse one is not the best way to come up with a crowd-pleaser. And I do think a crowd needs to be pleased. They need to be made to laugh or cry or think or get angry. I just felt uncomfortable in that way that you feel when a show is tanking. Or at least the way I feel. People often assume that critics sit like vultures on a branch waiting to swoop down on bad shows, but my reaction is usually to want to get up and go. I don’t want to see this, I don’t want to have to write about it, I just want to go home.