MURRAY — Desert Star holds its own for a unique theatrical experience you’re not going to find many other places in Utah. Each show is a blend of parody and satire with humor ranging from juvenile to artistic. Their latest production of Pirates of the Car-rib-eee-an is definitely full of laughs and when you add fresh pizza to the mix, it makes up for the occasional humor that suits your neighbor more than you.
While legally an indirect spoof of the popular Disney film of a similar name the evening’s story follows the heroic attempts of Will Doolittle and Captain Jack Sprat as they race to rescue Miss Eliza Swine, captured by the venerable Captain Barmitzvah and his pair of cursed pirates.
The script is peppered with quick humor and slapstick and supported with musical parodies of well known Broadway classics. The occasional failing microphone made for difficulty in hearing all of the lyrics, but those that came through were clever and appropriately matched the wit evident in Captain Barmitzvah’s prayer-shawl, pirate duds. Particularly engaging were the performances of Scott Holman (Jack Sprat) and Corinne Adaire (Eliza Swine). Their characters were strong, voices always heard, and they led the cast in their ability to roll with the punches (and many are thrown). Jeff Jensen (Will Doolittle) was surprisingly the spitting image of Orlando Bloom and surprised us all with his solo later on in the evening.
The pacing (tempo) on the stage matched that of the kitchen. I couldn’t believe how fast our ordered was brought out to the table. Food was great though you’re left with napkins and no plates/silverware and when the toppings are piled high it makes for a very unstable slice making a trip to the mouth.
When attending the show you’re treated to a two-act musical (with intermission) followed by a musical olio (revue). This time round the cast has prepped a variety of Broadway classics and the occasional sketch. The opening performances of Wicked‘s “What is this feeling?” and Pippin‘s “Corner of the Sky” worried me. They felt more Karoake than I’d hoped and it wasn’t until Spencer Ashby’s opening number that I really started to get into the revue. Surprising performances from Phantom of the Opera and a politically charged Obama-ad brought the focus of the olio back to the style Desert Star really has carved out in the valley: pop culture parody of the classics.