Romy and Michele was Well Worth the 30 Year Wait to Reemerge on Stage

Roughly 30 years ago, the two quirky friends first appeared on stage in Robin Schiff’s Ladies Room as two minor (according to Schiff they were just filler) yet incredibly memorable, characters. Twenty years ago, after some production struggles, they hit the silver screen as lead characters in their own movie, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion becoming an instant  cult classic. The movie is beloved among young and old as it is funny, relatable, and simple. So now, in 2017, the story has been brought to the stage in the form of a musical theater production… and it’s brilliant!

I first found out about this musical two years ago when I saw a reading at Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Angeles. As an avid fan of the movie since its theatrical release opening weekend, I knew I had to check it out. After a little research, I learned that Robin Schiff herself had written the book for the musical. I was definitely intrigued but didn’t know what to expect. I mean to make a funny and campy movie into a musical would be a big undertaking to do well. The reading did not disappoint me at all. I was laughing the entire time and left with the songs stuck in my head. I honestly felt the show, if done right, could be a huge hit.

Two years later I found myself seated in Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater praying I would not be disappointed. It was going to have to at least live up to the movie… and that is a high standard. I sat among many diehard fans of the flick and we chatted about our hopes that it would do the it justice. I met a wonderful pair of friends who were high school students and they knew every line of the movie. That blew my mind as they weren’t even alive when it came out. All I could think of was if this show wasn’t good then there would be many disappointed fans.

I’m ecstatic to say the show gripped me from the very first moment Romy and Michele hit the stage. I’m not sure I blinked until intermission. There were moments where I could not breath due to laughing so hard. The audience roared with laughter more than I’ve ever heard for any musical. The comedic timing of Romy (Cortney Wolfson) and Michele (Stephanie Wall) is absolutely flawless. The first song, “Romy and Michele’s Big Night Out,” really show cased this right away and its nonstop from there. Wall embodies so much of the characteristics, mannerisms, and voice that Lisa Kudrow gave the original Michele that you forget it’s not Kudrow up there herself. Her comedic style is brilliant, add that to Wall’s incredibly strong powerhouse vocals and you have actual perfection!

Other cast standouts were Jordan Burnett who played Heather Mooney and Michael Thomas Grant who played Sandy Frink. Burnett embodied the character of Heather Mooney flawlessly and brought the house down with her just incredible vocals during her solo song “Love is…” The character was toned down a bit for the show and while she is less vulgar she is still the Heather Mooney the fans love. Grant brought to life both the nerdy and hunky versions of Sandy Frink in a completely believable manner. His character portrayal and vocals were absolutely phenomenal.

The story follows the movie closely but it adds so much depth to the characters. Everything that worked for a laugh in the original was adapted for the staged version plus there are many updated jokes that add to the humor. Gone is the iconic fake orgasm scene and Heather Mooney’s love of the F-word but added is a much closer look at the relationship between Romy and Michele. The song “Coolest Person I Know” gives us an intimate look at the fall out of the A-Group putting magnets on Michele’s back brace. Gone is the mysterious cowboy but don’t worry as Heather Mooney isn’t left without a happy ending. Most importantly the reunion dance is brought to life right before your eyes… scored to an original instrumental by the show’s composers Brandon Jay and Gwendolyn Sanford and choreographed by Peggy Hickey… and it is even more hilarious. The dream sequences worked much better in this musical version than they did in the movie… which actually surprised me. The ending is different but it’s a darn good different and great update to the story.

The design team nailed every aspect of the show as well. Amy Clark’s costumes were exactly what you would expect Romy and Michele to wear. The use of awkward and not so refined costumes for the high school flashback versus the very well-tailored and cute costumes for the “modern day” scenes made you realize the personal growth of Romy and Michele. It was subtle but very effective. Donyale Werle designed an incredibly versatile, bright, and beautiful main set and several detailed smaller sets. The main set was easily changed from living room, to night club, to high school courtyard, to prom… and many more places… with minor adjustments and rolled in smaller sets. The amount of set changes and costume changes in absolutely mind blowing. Jason Lyons and Catherine Girardi did an amazing job with the lighting as it was gorgeous and complimentary to the set design.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

One Response

  1. Deb June 24, 2017 Reply

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Disjointed Netflix
Netflix’s ‘Disjointed’ is a Comedy About Dope for Dopes

In a 1999 stand-up comedy special, David Cross had a lengthy...

Kill Switch
‘Kill Switch’ is an Imperfect Ninety Minute Cut Scene on Blu-Ray

Kill Switch, Tim Smit’s directorial debut, is a ninety minute cut-scene,...

Killing Hasselhoff
‘Killing Hasselhoff’ DVD Giveaway!

David Hasselhoff is having himself a pretty good year. He had...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
This Week In Gaming News August 12th to 18th 2017

Gaming News will be streamlined into a weekly piece starting next...

Telltale's Batman: The Enemy Within
Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within Episode One Available Now

Define your own Bruce Wayne and reshape The Joker in the...

atgames
AtGames Announces Pre-orders for New Atari 2600 and Sega Genesis

Pre-orders started for the new Atari Flashback 8 Gold and Sega...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
viz
VIZ Media Announces New Digital Manga Content For August Update

VIZ Media details digital manga updates for August highlighted by the...

viz
VIZ Media Announces New Manga and Literary Acquisitions At Anime Expo

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), a premier company in the fields of...

9.0/10
Supergirl Makes Contact in ‘Supergirl Being Super’

Title: Supergirl Being Super #4 Writer: Mariko Tamaki Artist: Joelle Jones...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Ay Caramba!Penny Skateboards Join Up with The Simpson’s

After 30 years, 618 episodes (and counting), 32 Emmy Awards, and...

Sensei 310
SteelSeries Sensei 310 and Rival 310 Gaming Mice

SteelSeries Unveils the First, True 1-to-1 Esports Gaming Mouse Sensor Exclusively...

Alter Ego Release Groot and Deadpool for SDCC

From Alter Ego – Cary, NC: Florida based lifestyle accessories company,...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Mayweather and McGregor Previous Fights Now On Demand on Cable, Plus Interviews, Workouts and More

From iN DEMAND – New York, Aug. 17 – Before the...

Rumble on the Water 2 Delivers Punching Power

July 29, 2017 – Long Beach, CA – The Queen Mary...

UFC Star Jon ‘Bones’ Jones Releases Emoji App – BonesMoji

From BonesMoji – Los Angeles, CA., July 27, 2017 – One...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
CULTURAL JUNK DRAWER SDCC 2017 86.3% TRUE RECAP!

A totally true recap of the most important geek cultural even...

Comics on the Can: Schick Hydrobot and the Transformers

Written by John Barber, Pencils by Steve Kurth, Inks by Juan...

Star Wars Themed Lands Will be the Perfect Safe House for the Rebellion and the First Order

Disney’s D23 Expo has revealed a lot of what is to...

Event News Event Reviews
The Third Annual ‘BeerX’ from 91X in San Diego Featured Sunburns and Beer Goggles

This past Saturday, I attended the 3rd annual BeerX, presented by...

anime film festival
LA-Anime Film Festival Kicks Off to Celebrate 100 Years of Anime Films

Los Angeles Anime Film Festival (LA-AFF), presented by international creative company...

stan lee
Extraordinary: Stan Lee at The Saban Theatre

Comedian, Nerdist CEO, and podcast extraordinaire Chris Hardwick will lead a roster of...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Lahna Turner’s ‘Limeade’ is a Hilariously Haunting Comedy Album

Many people are roll their eyes at the idea of musical...

Prince’s ‘Deliverance’ Reminds Us of Who We Lost

On Friday, April 21st, it will be one year since we...

Sabroso Fest, How can you go Wrong with Beer, Tacos and Lucha Libre!?!(Photo Gallery)

The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival sponsored by 95.5...