The Musical of Musicals: The Musical is, as its name repetitively implies, for lovers of musical theater. A solid working knowledge of musicals from the 1950s to the present is required, or you won’t get all the jokes.
The cast of four begins with a premise: We can’t pay the rent. What a great idea for a musical. No, they decide, what a great idea for five musicals! Taking this plot, they create five spoofs in different styles: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander and Ebb. You will consequently see Oklahoma!, Sweeney Todd, Mame, Evita, and Cabaret among many others, pureed into comical mayhem. Bad puns, often predictable jokes and a lot of Webber-bashing commence for about an hour and a half.
The cast, made up of Megan McKinney, Michael Shelton, Carmen Rae Meyers and Kevin D. Smith, under Richard J. Roberts’ direction, is spunky and enthusiastic. Smith presides over the piano as the group’s sole accompaniment, with Shelton stepping in to lend a hand. Each handles their vocal parts well, with McKinney adding a few glass-shattering moments for good measure.
Rotating columns take us efficiently from one story to the next, and minimal costume changes make 3-foot headdresses all the more outrageous. Meyers in a new wig for each segment, though, when McKinney goes wigless throughout, was distracting.
TMOMTM continues at the Phoenix Theatre through Oct. 8, Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays-Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $29. For reservations, call the theater, 749 N. Park Ave., at 635-PLAY.