Posted by Broadway Doctor Tuesday, September 28, 2010
What POPE! The Musical does right:
1) A good score with show-tunes. Most songs have a good hook or gimmick, and the score varies in styles. The songs aren't too long, and some move the plot, while others teach lessons.
2) A simple plot. It's basically the story of any natural leader who gets overthrown, only to regain that thrown in the end. It's Lion King, It's Jesus Christ Superstar...it's a formula for a good dramatic arch.
3) Comedy sketches. There are several vaudeville/variety show sketches that are pure comic relief. They don't move the plot, but they're clever and witty. The humor of the show is admirable, and the characters are like-able. I like that this show has elements of camp-fire sketch, while maintaining a full arch, and taking itself seriously. It's exactly what a Fringe show should be. Despite whether the authors see future productions, the Fringe is an excellent showcase for this production.
4) Great use of space. For a minimal set, there are many actors, and the use of space is important. The way they cover time and location is successful. There is some great choreography and lighting that helps too.
5) Originality. Most of all, who thought to write a musical about the Pope? I actually learned something, while it's not entirely about being informative. It's entertainment, but it's also interesting.
Fringe encores has ended, thus concluding the Fringe festival 2010. Now it's on to NYMF! Check back often!