Open: 03/22/14- Close: 03/23/14
Desperately Seeking the Exit|
Reviewed for TheaterOnline.com By: Ashley Griffin
In 2007, American actor and playwright Peter Michael Marino wrote a musical based on the film “Desperately Seeking Susan” featuring the music of Blondie. It opened on London’s West End … and closed a month later. One of the meanest, and most memorable reviews of the show opened with the line: “Desperately seeking the exit.” The truly brilliant Mr. Marino stole that sentence for the title of his phenomenal one man show currently playing at the Triple Crown in midtown which documents the rise, and fall, and rise of this multi million dollar musical.
What elevates “…Exit” to great art is that it is not a one-man drama rant. Instead it is an intricate, hilarious, beautifully structured piece that ultimately has a message of hope. It is a Broadway fairy tale for the 21st century, and I left the show uplifted and incredibly inspired.
The musical of “Desperately Seeking Susan” had an all but magical beginning. Marino, a basically unknown writer (“Everyone liked the idea for the show so much nobody bothered to ask me if I had ever written a musical before,”) was able to secure huge producers, a Tony award winning director, Tony award winning choreographer, the rights to the entire Blondie catalogue, as well as one of Madonna’s songs that was featured in the original film, and the rights to the movie itself as easily as if his fairy godmother had simply waived a magic wand.
From there though, everything began falling apart, and the story of its downfall takes up most of the hour or so show.
But there is an unexpected redemption at the end. After the disastrous West End run, the rights to the Marino’s show were picked up by a Japanese stage producer, and the show ended up being a run away hit in Japan. Now “Desperately Seeking The Exit” has become a bigger hit than the show it documents, even playing on the West End itself, and receiving a wonderful review from the critic who coined the phrase “Desperately seeking the exit” in the first place.
The show is riotously funny, incredibly dramatic, and ultimately inspiring. Go see it as soon as you can.
Triple Crown Underground Theater : 330 7th Avenue