First Impression review: The Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party is A-Go-Go!
Critic: Rolla Bahsous
Play at a glance: Going up against the tough, leather-wearing Big Tuna, a group of bikini-clad teens decide to have a bees-knees beach party to end the summer in Hawaii in this musical set in the 1960s!
First Impression: Like the actual 1960s beach movies with no real plots, this musical also lacks a significant plot. Breaking out in random songs about pine-apple dances, blue muu-muu's (bikini covers), and partying, this show is exactly what it promises: a simple, fun show parodying the beach party movie genre of the 1960s, including the nifty lingo and wordplay.
Highlights: The cast, especially Kuzio as Jeanette and Duplessie as Freddie were a delight to watch. The lingo breakdown in the opening and closing song was a great way to kick off the party. The choral singing of the girls dressed as trees during the "The Tiki Man" number and the guys' choreography in "Hawaiiannette" was also visually appealing to watch.
Nitpicks: It was a little bit difficult to make out the words in most of the numbers where the accompanying background music drowned out some of the lyrics. The "woody" joke was also way too overdone!
Audience's Instant Reaction: Though there was no standing ovation, the continuous laughter among the audience and the cheers and applause after each song suggests that they enjoyed the party!
Critic's Star Reaction: Though not as sophisticated in plot (as it shouldn't be if it's supposed to mimic a 1960s beach movie), I enjoyed the show and would recommend it for a feel-good, fun night out. I give this production 3 hoola-hoops out of 4!
Note from Nestruck: This review was filed as part of a workshop on theatre criticism and time constraints. Participants were asked to file a review within one hour of seeing a show of their choice at Toronto's Next Stage festival.