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Lights of Broadway: Titanique!




Titanique: Une Parodie Musicale

Synopsis: Want to find out what really happened to Jack and Rose on that fateful night? Our story begins when Céline Dion hijacks a Titanic Museum tour and enchants the audience with her totally wild take, recharting the course of Titanic’s beloved moments and characters with her iconic song catalog.


Review:

Imagine, you’re visiting a museum for remembering the tragedy of the Titanic and a woman covered in trash arrives telling you the story was wrong only to when approached whip off her trash cloak to reveal she’s Celine Dion in a floor length sparkly gown. This was the first 5 minutes of Titanique, a deranged comedic retelling of the 1992 movie which, according to Celine Dion, was a factual tale as Celine Dion was there on the ship.


As Celine Dion, portrayed by Marla Mindelle, opens the show, she introduces us to the ensemble cast and members of the ship: Victor Garber the ship captain/Luigi from Mario portrayed by Frankie Grande, Rose Bukake portrayed by Alex Ellis, Jack Dawson portrayed by Constantine Rousouli, the seaman portrayed by Avionce Hoyles, Ruth (Rose’s mother) portrayed by Ryan Duncan, and two time academy award winner Kathy Bates (Unsinkable Molly Brown) portrayed by Kathy Deitch. The cast knew exactly what this show was meant to be and executed their roles to perfection. Stand out moments was Kathy Deitch’s rendition of “All By Myself” and Avionce Hoyles who served also as Tina Turner the Iceberg in a rousing rendition of “River Deep, Mountain High.” Overall, this show was casted perfectly.


Many times, parody comedies struggle to maintain their momentum as the cast doesn’t commit enough or forgets to anchor the story. By having Celine be the narrator throughout the tale, it allowed the audience to return to baseline at frequent intervals, regrounding the story and preventing a need to keep to continue going overboard. When the scenery has already been chewed upon, we don’t need to keep chewing through to the wall. This is largely in part to the smart writing done by the playwrights Constantine Rousouli, Marla Mindelle, and Tye Blue. The three create perfect comedic moments that kept the audience in hysterics throughout the story. Tye Blue also serves as director for this piece and utilized a brilliant blend of physical comedy with the written word. A big falter for this show was despite it being in the thrust, so much of the comedy played directly to the front, that if one sat on the side, much of the action and facial reactions were missed due to a neglecting of the two sides.


Now Celine Dion isn’t telling us this story without music, she is Celine Dion after all! Nicholas James Connell had the daunting task of music supervisor both arranging and creating orchestration of Celine’s musical catalogue to fit into the story of Titanique. The arrangements fit perfectly and every major Celine song found a home within its narrative, even “Beauty & the Beast.” The small orchestra of two pianos, a drum set, and a guitar also got to be in on the action, at times allowing for Celine to interact with and in one wild moment for Ruth to slap across the face.


Overall, this show knew exactly what it was and who it catered to, gay people. This campy show was non-stop laughs and non-stop fun. Accompanied by a cast that felt like they were having fun. Chock full of references to inherently queer culture that brought the audience into the story. I would love to give this Off-Broadway production a perfect score, but the fact that I was sitting on one of the sides and lost so much of the action does mean the score needs to be knocked down a little.


This show is a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars and gets a resounding recommendation from me.




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