Review by Elizabeth Devlin
A crazy, entertaining romp through culture and commercialism, “Fizz” tells the story of a Cuban chemist turned Coca-Cola CEO, rocketed to Cola stardom by creating Diet Coke, and becoming a national target after he introduces New Coke.
The Cola wars are presented in delightful parody, with Pepsi execs portrayed and uber trendy underworlders and Coca-Cola merchandise treated as American artifacts. The outraged reaction to New Coke is not far off the mark: from angry letters to picket signs, one reading “Our children will never know refreshment!”, we are reminded how seriously this nation takes our soft drinks.
At its best (meaning the first act), the sharp dialogue and n-point acting draws you into this absurd setup, and makes you laugh while doing so.
The second act suffers from an odd sub-plot involving cocaine, a Rockette and cola formulas. The dream sequences take us away from the characters we actually care about. In the end however, all is as it should be: sugary-sweet with a touch of irony.
Inconsistent though the writing may be, Bryant Mason as Roberto is sincere, charming, and believable. Cheryl Lynn Bowers as his girlfriend Trixie, gets to show off her formidable comic talents. The rest of the ensemble cast plays multiple roles extremely well, and plays off one another in a rare, truly gratifying way. Even the most absurd moments become believable due to excellent acting and directing.
Fizz is definitely worth seeing, and will surely make you crave a Coca-Cola.
“Fizz” at the Ohio Theatre
Through September 30
Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 7pm
No Performances 9/24; 9/26
General Admission $18
Tickets: www.ticketcentral.com / (212) 279-4200
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.