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Theatre Review by Howard Miller

Eric Mann and Alex Goley.
Photo by Andrew Barry Fritz
Cloned!, one of the entries in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, is a rollicking musical comedy filled with screwball characters ranging from a full-of-himself young physicist to his stoner roommate Fizz to his love-struck assistant to a nefarious villain to the actress Sharon Stone. Not to mention those clones! Oh, and there's the pigeon Tramell who almost steals the show.

Cloned!, with its exuberant cast, tuneful score (music by Adam Spiegel), clever and often quite funny lyrics (Dan Wolpow), and a book (by Mr. Wolpow and Jacey Powers) that could very well have been written by the eternally high Fizz, is a delight from start to finish—even if it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Let me take a stab at explaining the plot. Our hero Wally (Alex Goley) believes he has figured out the secret to teleportation, only to discover that what his contraption also does is to make replicas of those who step into it. When his clone (Eric Mann) appears, Wally wants nothing more than to get rid of him—until he realizes the two of them have a lot in common and they become the best of friends. Add to the mix Wally's adoring assistant Izzy (Melanie Beck); his mentor Dr. Marshall (John Alban Coughlan), who is conspiring with Wally's landlord (Tony Romero) to steal the device on behalf of the government of North Korea; roommate Fizz (Matthew Knowland); the pigeon (a puppet skillfully worked by David Andino); the wacky upstairs neighbor Evelyn (Babs Winn); and Sharon Stone (Crystal Kellogg, a scene stealer herself), on whom Wally has nearly as big a crush as he has on himself. (The show takes place in 1993, just after Ms. Stone's anatomy revealing star turn in the movie Basic Instinct).

Kudos to director Tom Wojtunik and the very talented cast for pulling this off so splendidly. Cloned! is definitely ready for its close-up and in prime shape to be picked up for a solid run after the Festival ends.

The New York Musical Theatre Festival 2014
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