God Save Queen Pam: Show Review by Andrea Santo Felcone


Perhaps watching Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials has left you wanting more, more of what it must be like to be an American living in the world of the British monarchy. While we can all speculate on what that might entail, Erin Murray Quinlan has created a delightfully delicious version of an American transplanted in the British Monarchy in her musical comedy, “God Save Queen Pam.”God Save Queen Pam

In “God Save Queen Pam,” the entire royal house of Edevane has died out, leaving only one distant living heir, an American bartender from Secaucus, New Jersey. One day Pam Duffy is tending bar in Secaucus, in her Hawaiian-print shirt, mixing her signature cocktails, eating any leftover shrimp she can get her hands on, and the next … she is being squeezed into the role of Queen of England, in a peach pastel matching skirt-suit, having to endure endless coaching on how to behave as the matriarch of British royalty. “Behave” being the operative word, as Pam Duffy has trouble behaving and taking orders. But, Pam’s up for anything, especially since the “Divine Right of Queen” will look great on her LinkedIn account.

Pam as “Queen Pam” plays the traditional role for a bit, and then starts to want to necessitate change—why not make those Brits drive on the right? Why not let Gibraltar be independent? (A “you do you” attitude is Pam’s philosophy.) Why not “Pam it up” a bit and show the independent spirit that is synonymous with being American? (Eventually this backfires and Pam has to figure out a new solution, but the audience is rooting for her every step of the way.)

Erin Murray Quinlan in the star role as Pam is so likeable you just want to stick around after the performance and tag along for an after-show snack. Her witty lyrics are the hit of the show as they set just the right tone—clever, yet relatable. (The show is well-suited for 40-50-year-olds as there are references perfect for that age group.) In her lyrics, Quinlan creates a heroine we are cheering for; we want Pam to succeed as Queen of England (however madcap and far-fetched that premise may be) for Pam has the personality and the American grit and “can-do” spirit to get the job done (even when she has no idea what the job entails).

This show is just plain FUN. There is no hidden message or agenda, just pure escapism and entertainment. The story is well-told and the characters are likeable and entertaining. (Even the characters we aren’t supposed to like, are likeable in that Disney “Cruella De Vil” kind of way.) In one of the end scenes, the “Prime Minister” is brought on stage in a wheelchair (in actuality, a Plaster-of-Paris prop as the Prime Minister had recently fallen out a window—from being startled by Queen Pam’s exuberance). Even this pinned-together-plastered “man” is somehow likeable—and the way the cast interacts with “him” is hilarious.

The show is laugh-out-loud funny in many scenes: Brian Esposito has wonderful comic timing (especially as Pam’s ex-husband). Sure, these are New Jersey and British stereotypes, but nothing is written to offend. Highlights include: Maj. Digby’s (played by Evan Quinlan) obsession with Winston Churchill, Col. Eleanor Ainsley’s singing (Carolyn Light), the light romance between Maj. Jaimie Toben (David Ventura) and Queen Pam herself, and a pet “ferret” named Rachel (a motorized stuffed animal) who eventually unlocks one of the deepest mysteries of the British monarchy—and saves the day.

God Save Queen Pam

Erin Murray Quinlan and Adena Walker

Our performance suffered some lighting difficulties (well handled by the cast) and the set could be re-interpreted, but you won’t mind as you are swept into the storyline and won over by the colorful cast of characters, and Pam’s infectious personality. If you are looking for something light and entertaining this summer, stop by The Players Theatre and treat yourself to Erin Murray Quinlan’s joyous summer escape.

Book, Music, and Lyrics: Erin Murray Quinlan

Cast:

Pam Duffy/Queen Pam: Erin Murray Quinlan

Col. Eleanor Ainsley: Carolyn Light

Maj. Johnathan Digby: Evan Quinlan

Maj. Jaimie Toben: David Ventura

Lady Fenella de Dieul: Mari Minette Linder

Augustus de Dieul: Michael Kennedy

Ensemble: Brian Esposito, Bryna Kearney, Adena Walker

Musicians: Keyboard: Marc Chan; Second Keyboard: Sheridan Stevens; Drums: Jared Shaw.

“God Save Queen Pam” is running Off-Broadway at The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal Street, NYC) until July 29th. Performances are at 7pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 3pm on Sundays. For tickets: www.godsavequeenpam.com

Tags: , , ,

Post a Comment