BROADWAY BOUNTY HUNTER: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman

Put Annie Golden center stage, particularly to play herself, and it’s no surprise that she nails it both in voice and demeanor…not to mention being a delight to watch.

Ms. Golden is currently receiving above title billing as the lead in BROADWAY BOUNTY HUNTER, the latest Joe Iconis musical making it’s NY Premiere at Greenwich House Theatre on Barrow Street.

The frisky show takes you on a wild, campy ride as we witness a spunky “woman of a certain age” (the first song title) discover her inner ninja and then some. Ms. Golden is in fine, powerhouse voice, and she is a natural at comedy.

Struggling to get roles as a midlife actor (with references made to roles in her actual career, including Hair and The Full Monty) and to make peace with the loss of her  Broadway producer husband Charlie, Ms. Golden, who is having difficulty paying the bills, gets offered the opportunity to chase down criminals and decides to embrace the out of character challenge.  She undergoes arduous physical training and is taken under the wing of martial artist Shiro Jin (Emily Borromeo), who recruits her we later learn for purely selfish reasons, and a studly Lazarus (Alan H. Green) who becomes her partner in crime-busting and later unlikely romantic interest.

Iconis (Tony nominee for the score of Be More Chill) also co-wrote the book with Lance Rubin and Jason SweetTooth Williams, and the three of them pack the show with theatrical insider jokes, jabs and comedic twists and turns. Act 1 feels a bit far-fetched and longish as the stage is set, and some of the songs could use a trimming, though they are appealing including Woman of a Certain Age and Spin Those Records.

Act 2 is wicked fun and ignited a standing ovation the evening I attended.  We watch as Annie and Lazarus embark on assignment to South America in pursuit of Mac

(Photo credit: Matthew Murphy)

Roundtree (a retro nod to actor Richard Roundtree who starred on TV as Shaft), a flamboyant drug pusher who runs a call girl ring.  I won’t reveal the major spoiler alert twist…suffice it to say…that you want to simply revel in the spoofy fun of it all, if it’s your taste, and abandon any notion of believability.

The talented, versatile cast, many playing multiple roles, features Emily Borromeo (School of Rock) as Shiro Jin; Badia Farha (School of Rock) as Sienna; Jasmine Forsberg (Love In Hate Nation at Penn State) as Cortnie/Indigo; Omar Garibay (Ghost the Musical) as Spark Plug/Director; Jared Joseph (Holler if Ya Hear Me) as Felipe; Christina Sajous (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Claudine Machine/Janessa; and Emilie Battle (Dear Evan Hansen at Second Stage) and Ian Coulter-Buford (National Tour of After Midnight) as swings. Anne L. Nathan (Once, Sunday in the Park with George) performs the title role at Saturday matinees.

The actors are universally strong, offering up a number of standout numbers, especially highlighting the comedic prowess of Brad Oscar (as Mac Roundtree) and the slinky and silky voiced Christina Sajous (as Janessa).  The strong Funk/Soul/R & B-inspired score by Iconis gives them much to work with.

Director/choreographer Jennifer Werner keeps the action flowing and makes good use of the theatre aisles.  Projections by Brad Peterson keep the visuals interesting. And, costumes by Sarafina Bush colorfully take on the tone and time period.

BROADWAY BOUNTY HUNTER is playing a limited run through September 15.




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