According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"[title of show]" by Matt Windman

Let’s be honest: this chaotic parody of Broadway musicals is meant only for those already obsessed with too many musicals.

“[title of show],” which premiered at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, follows the adventure of two young guys as they attempt to write an original musical. Now playing at the Vineyard Theatre, the work is a silly, messy adventure through Broadway folklore.

Writers Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell, who also make up half the cast, are so familiar with musical theater culture that we witness “Cats” ring tones on cell phones, references to obscure musicals like “Kwamina,” and celebrity voiceovers performed by Marin Mazzie, Kerry Butler, Emily Skinner, and Amy Spanger.

According to the plot, Jeff and Hunter are desperate to write their musical in three weeks time so that they can submit to a theater festival. And while they dream of making it big, they sing self-referential material with titles like “Opening Song,” “Award Song,” and “I Am Playing Me.”

So, while “[title of show]” is not a particularly memorable musical, it will surely provide fans of better musicals with a fun night of theater. To determine if it is for you, just ask yourself whether you enjoy Sondheim lyrics and jokes about bad vampire musicals.

Vineyard Theatre, 108 East 15th Street, 212-352-3101, $55. Mon 8pm, Wed-Fri 8pm, Sat 5 & 9pm, Sun 3pm. Through April 9.

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