FULL HOUSE THE MUSICAL! by Bob and Tobly McSmith (National Lampoon/Starvox). At Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst). Runs to September 6..
FULL HOUSE THE MUSICAL! by Bob and Tobly McSmith (National Lampoon/Starvox). At Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst). Runs to September 6. $30-$100. See Continuing. Rating: N
Considering that it’s from the creators of other shameless 90s nostalgia traps like Bayside! The Saved By The Bell Musical, this raunchy song-and-dance parody seems groan-worthy enough, but add celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton starring as patriarch Danny Tanner and you’ve got some weapons-grade weirdness going on.
As a bizarre, how-is-this-even-a-thing? morbid theatre curiosity, the show doesn’t disappoint. If, say, you wanted to break your brain on acid, this could do the trick. But as campy entertainment or a roast of the original, this salacious knockoff comes up empty.
Hilton, known for his controversial celebrity reporting, not for his formative years in NYU’s drama program, turns out to be serviceable onstage. He can hold his own with the other pros enough to spare him the hook outright.
The thing (well, one of the many things) that instantly seems out of whack is that while the rest of the cast bear varying degrees of resemblance to actors on the show – Seth Blum actually plays a pretty good Joey Gladstone/Dave Coulier, and Marshall Louise has mastered the voices of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (both as toddler Michelle, and as 20-something drugged-out fashion moguls) – Hilton doesn’t conjure Danny Tanner or Bob Saget, and he’s the centre of the show, so that’s a big problem.
Surface aesthetics aside, the core weakness here is the lazy, vapid, unrelenting yes-they-went-there shock humour. The super-thin frame – Danny loses his ability to solve the family’s problems with touching “Dad speeches” – takes an hour to materialize, and even then the series of disconnected developments only achieves the depth of an agonizingly long clip show.
It’s a two-hour vehicle for one basic gag: the gang’s squeaky-clean image and catchphrases (“Have mercy,” “Cut. It. Out.,” “You got it, dude!”) contrasted with filthy jokes about dead moms, incest, bestiality, dildos and AIDS patients.
Two audience members sitting next to me lasted only half an hour before walking out, and they weren’t the only ones. Perhaps the show has a future as some kind of psychological endurance test?
Pure, unadulterated WTF from start to finish, Full House The Musical!, which heads next to off-Broadway, deserves a special place on the mantle of terrible things.