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Southern Florida by John Lariviere


Food Fight!
A Musical Comedy for Waist Watchers

Also see John's reviews of Miss Saigon and Reefer Madnes

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts and producer Alan Jacobson present Food Fight! A Musical Comedy For Waist Watchers. Set in a modern day health club, Food Fight! A Musical Comedy For Waist Watchers is a musical revue with parody lyrics to popular songs in the style of Menopause the Musical.

Food Fight! takes a look at the impact that food has on the human body, and the pleasures and neuroses that are linked to it. The show comedically covers issues like dieting, exercise, plastic surgery, sex over the age of forty, and the search for a positive self-image. Writer/producer Alan Jacobson has cleverly rewritten the lyrics to popular songs for this four-woman show that suit the subject at hand, and feel less forced lyrically than songs in similarly conceptualized shows. Included are songs such as "I HopeI Lose It" to the tune of "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line, "Botox Queen" to the tune of ABBA's "Dancing Queen," "Viagra" to the tune of "Maria" from West Side Story, and "I Feel My Butt Squeeze" to the tune of Carole King's "I Feel The Earth Move."

Each of the women get a chance to display their individual talents. Lili Maron is a tad young for her role as Cheryl, but has great energy and sings the heck out of the song "If I Had A Bagel" (to the tune of "If I Had A Hammer") with a voice that is strong and clear. Tafee Patterson as fitness instructor Carla has fun quirks such as her secret passion for chocolate and not-so-secret passion for younger men. While her best song is "I'm A Cougar" (to the tune of "I'm A Woman"), she struggled with her vocal placement throughout the show on the night attended, and seems to be a stronger actress than vocalist. The opposite is true of Amanda Shae Wilborn as Cindy. While she sings her role well, she is the weakest actress in the show, and speaks in a high-pitched voice that can be annoying. The two best solo moments belong to Missy McArdle, who steals the show with a comedic "If I Were a Size Two" sung to the tune of "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler On The Roof and a belted "I'm Fat and I'm O.K." to the tune of "Don't Rain On My Parade" from Funny Girl. The latter clearly emerges as the audience pleaser of the show.

Musical director Vic Glazer has written wonderful, four-part vocal harmonies that provide a fresh sound for these familiar songs. The vocal blend of the cast throughout the show is a pleasure to hear, and the tracked accompaniment sounds as close to live as one could hope. Kevin Black has choreographed this production with precision. The efforts of director Andrew Rogow, combined with the work of Black and Glazer, produce a tight, entertaining show. Transitions between the twenty-five songs fly by. Admittedly the audience was predominantly female, but this show is for anyone who has ever struggled with their weight. Writer Alan Jacobson tells us you're bound to burn calories just watching, laughing and having a good time at Food Fight! The Musical For Waist Watchers.

Writer and producer Alan Jacobson has produced more than eighty shows both locally and out of town. Two of his shows, If You Ever Leave Me, I'm Going With You (starring Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna) and Down the Garden Paths (starring Eli Wallach) moved To New York City. In 2003 he produced the world premiere of the musical version of the comedy Beau Jest. Alan also produces various popular Mane Stage Cabaret shows which perform in restaurants, nightclubs and theatres across the country. He wrote and produced the show Food Fight! A Musical Comedy for Waist Watchers which premiered in October of 2007 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. For more information on this show or other Mane Stage offerings, you may contact Alan Jacobson at info@manestageproductions.org.

Food Fight! A Musical Comedy for Waist Watchers is scheduled to appear March 17 - 21, 2010 in the Au-Rene Theater of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. For tickets and/or information on the many diverse offerings of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts you may contact them at 954-462-0222 or visit www.browardcenter.org.

Cast:
Cheryl: Lili Maron
Carla: Tafee Patterson
Connie:Missy McArdle
Cindy: Amanda Shae Wilborn

Crew:
Director: Andrew Rogow*
Music Director/Arranger: Vic Glazer
Choreography: Kevin Black
Scenic/Lighting Design: Exclusive Events
Costume Design: Jenna Hoefert
Stage Manager: Terence Jenkins

*Designates a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.


See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere



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