Fringe Review: ‘Superhero Celebrity Rehab: The Musical’

Bill Coyne as Supernova. Photo by Michael Portantiere.

Superhero Celebrity Rehab: The Musical is a case of a good idea that’s too much of a good thing. Creators William Segal (Book, Music, Lyrics) and Brendan Snow (Book) have a solid idea for their musical: where do superheroes go to fight their addictions when they can’t handle their own success? They go to a Dr. Drew like spa called “Origins” to be helped by Dr. Bonnie (Farrell Parker). Origins’ occupants include Supernova (Bill Coyne) who is suffering from a cocaine problem, Critter (Joshua Morgan) who ends up almost overdosing on placebos, and The Great Fondue (Phil Reid) who has a serious weight problem.

Director Brian Sutow has directed the piece with lots of energy…

If you think this all sounds like a good idea for a musical, you would be right. The execution of that idea is another matter. The writers have fallen into the trap of over writing their piece. They have too many songs that repeat the same ideas. This is not to say the material is bad; it’s just that there is too much of it.

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Director Brian Sutow has directed the piece with lots of energy and has assembled a very good group of performers to present that material to the audience. Standouts by far are Joshua Morgan and a young lady you will be seeing a lot of in the future, Farrell Parker. These two performers alone make the show worth seeing. Another standout performance was Bill Coyne’s Supernova that reminded me of what happened to actor Jeff Conaway a few years back: he couldn’t kick his addiction and just kept relapsing. Coyne’s performance is never over-camped and has just the right touch of comedy and pathos. Other featured performers include Leigh Jameson as a rather sexy superhero named The Scarlet Letter and Vaughn Irving who plays multiple characters, including one that adds a not-to-be-mentioned twist to the show—that’s a tease by the way.

Overall Superhero Celebrity Rehab: The Musical has a great cast, a good director, and two talented writers attached to it. If the writers could cut down the show and take out some of the repetitiveness, their piece would fare better.

Running Time: 105 minutes with no intermission

Advisory: The show is recommended for kids 13 and up and contains some profanity.

Superhero Celebrity Rehab: The Musical plays at Gala Hispanic Theatre, which is located at 3333 14th St NW DC. For tickets and show times click here.

For a full list of all shows at Capital Fringe, go to www.capitalfringe.org.

About Elliot Lanes

Elliot Lanes has been a professional stage manager/sound designer/board op for over 20 years. After relocating to Washington, DC from the New York City area and marrying the girl of his dreams Jennifer Perry, he has been privileged to work on productions at Theatre J, Synetic, Prince George's Community College and Studio Theater to name a few. He has contributed designs for many shows in the last three Capital Fringe Festivals, two of which garnered critical raves. He is also the creator of MD Theatre Guide's highly successful 'A Quick 5' column.