Friday, May 23, 2014

Beachy Keen

Went with friends to see "Bayside: The Musical" on a recent Saturday night. Although I'm way too old to have "grown up" with "Saved by the Bell" -- "The Real Live Brady Bunch" is obviously my sweet spot -- but I was part of the population who discovered the show in reruns in the early '90s, which led to a prime-time ""College Years" followup. The show was sort of a witless update of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." But with Mark-Paul Gosselaar as its leading man -- and A.C. Slater as his hunky partner in crime -- it was like cat nip for every girl and gay man who came across it, and ripe for a parody. "Bayside: The Musical" doesn't disappoint, far smarter and, of course, in on the joke. The actors playing Zack and Slater aren't shy about taking their shirts off -- and even when he's dressed, A.C. is in a singlet (thank god) -- but it's the young woman playing Jessie who steals the show, with her multiple addictions -- caffeine-pills, studying, getting into Stanford -- and impromptu "Showgirls" moments. I won't lie, I didn't get all of the inside jokes (make sure you refresh your memory as to who Tori was). But the tickets are cheap, and if you're a little bit younger than me -- OK, a lot younger than me -- you'll have a great time. And even if you're just a casual fan, there's enough here -- including some surprisingly clever songs -- to enjoy. Tickets and show information HERE.

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