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Broadway Bounty Hunter
Music & lyrics by Joe Iconis; book by Iconis, Lance Rubin & Jason Sweettooth Williams
Directed & choreographed by Jennifer Werner
Performances through August 18, 2019
Unashamedly and gleefully goofy, Broadway Bounty Hunter is a deeply dopey parody of ‘70s B movies and exploitation/blaxploitation/martial-arts flicks that stars Annie Golden as “herself,” an actress of a certain age who finds it difficult to get parts now that her days of starring on Broadway in The Full Monty or onscreen in Hair, or singing on records and in clubs with the Shirts are over.
Frustrated with casting directors turning her down, she’s visited by Shiro Jin and her minions, who recruit and train her to become a bounty hunter (because, why not?). After Annie is paired with Lazarus, the team’s Shaft-like head hunter, she’s sent with him to the jungles of South America to capture and bring back Mac Roundtree, a renegade Broadway producer turned brothel operator who created a drug letting performers have enough energy to perform far more than eight shows a week, maximizing profits. Then the widowed Annie—who’s been grieving for her supposedly drowned husband for a decade—discovers Mac’s real identity, and the shit really hits the fan.
Broadway Bounty Hunter is completely ridiculous—and knows it. Joe Iconis, Lance Rubin and Jason Sweettooth Williams’ book has its share of groaners but there are amusing inside jokes for the many theater geeks in the audience (like a reference to Alexander technique). Iconis’ songs snarkily send up the genres the show is aping, while also being decent schlock-rock tunes, more memorable—because less cloying and obnoxious—than the ones he penned for Be More Chill.
Jennifer Werner directs and choreographs with a flair for merciless but loving lampooning, and the energetic and versatile backup ensemble is led by Emily Borromeo as Shiro Jin. The lead roles are well-taken by the great Brad Oscar as Mac (too bad he isn’t given even more to do); the hilariously deadpan Alan H. Green as Lazarus; and Annie Golden herself, who gamely keeps up with the others despite being “a certain age” and, when she needs to, lets go with rip-roaring, full-throated vocals.
The main problem with the show is overlength: at two-plus hours, things get repetitive and pall long before the sixth or seventh ending (those B movies knew enough to wrap up after 90 or fewer minutes). But Broadway Bounty Hunter is still mindless fun.
Greenwich House Theater, 27 Barrow Street, New York, NY
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