UG - The Caveman Musical

Review by Willard Manus

TV comedy writer Jim Geoghan (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Family Matters) is also a skilled playwright (Only Kidding ran 500 performances Off-Broadway at the Westside Arts Theater). His latest theatrical work, UG--THE CAVEMAN MUSICAL, may not have the wit and depth of Only Kidding and Light Sensitive (yet another of his successful plays), but it does have a goofy charm and spirit. His first musical (written with composers Rick and Vivian Rhodes), UG depicts a bunch of stone-age cave-dwellers who, over a repast of barbecued boar, discover that it's more fun to act out than merely tell a story.

Having inadvertently discovered showbusiness, the dozen-odd hairy, fur-clad neanderthals proceed to try and mount a musical. Battles over casting, billing, producing, directing and collaborating follow--not to speak of hot love affairs and equally passionate breakups. All this unfolds snappily and slickly, thanks to Geoghan's amusing dialogue and a plethora of catchy tunes.

A satire, maybe even a burlesque, of backstage musicals, UG's success can also be attributed to its first-rate cast, all of whom act, sing and dance in robust fashion. Hats off to Danny Blaylock, David Barnathan, Michelle Maves, Derek Houck, Kevan Fabian, Thom Babbes, Adam Tait, Emily Morris, Becca Battoe and Tatiana Zaza, and to director Jerry Kernion, musical director Louis Durra and choreographer Terry J. Barto as well. (Attic Theater & Film Center, 5924 W. Washington Blvd. Call (323) 525-0600 ext. 2#)