Geeks! The Musical at Write Act

I consider myself a sort of geek, albeit a non-fully committed one. I may not own comic books or attend Comic-Cons, but I do own the Wonder Woman series – all three seasons and I might have a few action figures somewhere in storage.

Thankfully, I can continue to skirt my inner geek with Geeks! The Musical at Write Act Repertory Theatre. Set during the behemoth weekend that is Comic-Con in San Diego, the musical follows Jordan’s (Jonathan Brett) quest to find love. It is while he and his best bud Chip (Tyler Koster) are rummaging through comics, that he lays eyes on a rare species – a real girl named Kerry (Redetha Deason.) Of course, obstacles tear these two apart for the remaining weekend.

The musical has all the makings of a fun, campy play complete with a Geek chorus of conventioneers commenting on the highlights of the expo. Following a formulaic set-up, the play is predictable and the sub-plots involving a goth chic named Audrina (Juliette Angeli) who’s in love with bisexual artist named Trey (Brandon Murphy Barnes) and a second sub-plot involving a has-been actor (Richard Warren Lewis) gives the musical a longer running time than necessary.

There are some moments of sheer wit: the musical number, “How Many Actors Have Played Dr. Who,” and “I Hate It!” sung by Emerson (Wil Bowers), Kerry’s snobby know-it-all sidekick, show a glimmer of brilliance. Thomas J. Misuraca has a solid grasp of what it entails to be a true geek and it’s reflected solidly in his book and lyrics.

Unfortunately, the musical is hindered by a bland musical score by Ruth Judkowitz. The bare-bones musical arrangement on piano doesn’t hinder the production, but it does help highlight the fact that perhaps it is still in its workshop stage.

With a few exceptions, the cast is excellent though I wouldn’t say that music is the company’s strong suit. Still, the performers give it their all earnestly and with high energy, which makes this musical a pleasant experience.

If only Mr. Lewis would put a little more energy into his character. His big song “Has Been” seems like a half-hearted effort at best. Like his character that wishes to be anywhere but at the convention, the actor often times looks like he’d rather be somewhere else, too.

Ideally, this is meant as a light-hearted satire and in this, the musical succeeds. Perhaps with a little more workshop, these geeks will indeed inherit the earth!

Performances through March 17 at Write Act Repertory Theatre, 6128 Yucca St. For more information and tickets, please call 323-960-7779 or visit www.geeksthemusical.com.

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