“Chick Flick: The Musical” Show Review by Andrea Santo Felcone

Last Saturday, I grabbed a friend and we headed over to the lovely Westside Theatre, to see the Off-Broadway production of “Chick Flick: The Musical”. A show–you guessed it–about those well-known romantic, often funny, sometimes sappy, cinematic gems. Those movies that have helped many of us regroup from a bad break-up, or live vicariously through its main characters (during a dating dry spell). Perhaps we’ve shared a cry and a laugh with the leading men and women of such classics as “When Harry Met Sally”, “Sleepless in Seattle”, and “The Notebook”, etc. Who hasn’t had their spirits lifted by watching, when, against all odds, the couple is reunited—often in the pouring rain, or falling snow, (precipitation is usually involved), but still, they are finally reunited?

Chick Flick: The Musical

(L) Carla Duren, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Sharon Catherine Brown. (Top) Megan Sikora. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova.

So, a musical featuring four female leads, celebrating female friendship, all around the central theme of “chick flicks”? It sounded delicious, just like a tiny bit of fluffy cotton candy, the kind that evaporates in your mouth in mere moments. The premise: Four female friends meet up one night to share snacks (many snacks) and wine (even more wine) while drowning their “bad day sorrows” in a “chick flick” (or two). They come together to discuss their lives (one expects), but instead, they gloss over their problems, pretending everything is perfect. (This seemed odd since they profess to be such close friends, and requires the audience to suspend our disbelief—as we do when we watch “chick flick” movies in general.) Eventually, their problems cannot be swept under the rug, and the women share the truth about what is going on in their lives.

The four characters are all played well. Some are single, some married, some career-minded, nothing too outlandish. There’s Karen (the rich PTA mom/frustrated would-be writer), Sheila (single and scaring off her new boyfriend), Meg (the baker whose career is on the upswing, while her personal life is crashing down), and finally, Dawn (the actress who hasn’t landed a decent role in years and has resorted to selling a sub-standard line of make-up products). These girlfriends love “chick flicks” so much, they invent a drinking game where movie quotes are uttered, and the first one to guess where the movie quote comes from, gets to take a sip (or swig). Perhaps the only thing moving faster than the uncorking of the wine, is the dialogue. (There were moments when it was easy to miss what was being said, especially if you are not entirely up on your “chick flick” movie quotes. Perhaps the focus should have been on obvious quotes only, ones that audience members could relate to, like: “I’ll have what she’s having,” etc.) But, still, it was fun to try to name the movie (silently in your head), before the performers announced the answer.

Chick Flick: The Musical

The cast of Chick Flick: The Musical. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova.

If hearing about this show has made you nostalgic for romantic movies, you may want to pull up Netflix right about now, as, unfortunately, last Saturday, March 16th, was the show’s final performance. About a week after it opened, “Chick Flick: The Musical” has closed. It seems an abrupt ending for something so many in our audience were enjoying. The woman next to me was dancing in her seat through the entire show. (It is cleverly revealed at one point that there are live musicians playing behind the set and they are very good).

“Chick Flick: The Musical” did not lack for a talented cast, starring: Sharon Catherine Brown (Karen), Lindsay Nicole Chambers (Sheila), Carla Duren (Meg), and Megan Sikora (Dawn). These women were talented singers, all well-cast in their roles. Their friendships, although slightly superficial, were convincing. Particularly enjoyable were the songs, “Eat Your Feelings” (Meg), “It’s Over” (Meg), and also “Subtext” (Full cast). It did not lack for a gorgeous set, featuring hot-pink glowing walls plastered with framed covers of famous “chick flick” DVDs—except without the movie titles. Before the show started, a DVD cover would light up and the theme music for that movie would play. This gave the audience a chance to guess which movie was being featured. A clever way to keep the audience occupied beforehand; kudos to Jason Sherwood on set design. The book, music, and lyrics (all by Suzy Conn) were cute. Not the kind of musical where you leave the theater singing anything in particular, but enjoyable while you are there.

If “Chick Flick: The Musical” were to revive, and here’s hoping, perhaps the pacing could be improved: it was fast and some of the dialogue was hard to catch, especially if your knowledge of romantic movie quotes was rusty. Some of the relationships were just getting more interesting when the show ended—perhaps more could be made of Karen and Dawn’s writing/acting collaboration. However, if nothing else, “Chick Flick: The Musical” inspired one to call up friends, order take-out, pop some popcorn, and watch as many “chick flicks” as possible. It was a celebration of female friendship, which is never a bad thing. “Chick Flick: The Musical” was a bit of pleasure, a bit of “dance in your seat fun,” that fluffy piece of cotton candy—that, just like cotton candy–was sweet, yet all-too fleeting.

Chick Flick: The Musical: Book, Music, and Lyrics: Suzy Conn

Starring: Sharon Catherine Brown, Lindsay Nicole Chambers,

Carla Duren, Megan Sikora

Scenic Design: Jason Sherwood

Directed by David Ruttura

Westside Theatre: 407 West 43rd Street, NYC: http://westsidetheatre.com/

*If you care to leave a comment: What is your favorite “chick flick” movie of all time?

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