Megabytes! The Musical. Written and Directed by Morris Dubrow. Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.
Morris Bobrow is the local king of the musical revue, having major successes with his previous efforts, the long running Foodies! The Musical, Shopping! The Musical and Party of 2- The Mating Musical. His latest effort, Megabytes! The Musical focuses his astute and humorous observations on our current technologies and how they have affected human interactions. The theme is ripe for comic material and Bobrow hits paydirt in this witty and charming revue.
There’s no exposition offered, just song after song offered up by his usual cast of musical characters: Kim Larsen, Lisa McHenry, David Goodwin and Deborah Russo. Each has previously appeared in Bobrow shows and are familiar with the format and multiple musical genres employed. Accompanied by pianist Ben Keim, the cast whips through the 25 numbers working the gags and lyrics to great affect. Each singer gets their fair share of solos as well as different configurations as needed.
A majority of the material focuses on cell phones, either the 2nd best invention in recent times(right behind the personal computer) or pure hell. In “Nightclub”, Russo plays a cabaret singer interrupted by three audience members answering their phones. in “A Mother’s Lament”, she laments that the only time her son calls is via a butt dial. In “ILY”, Larsen and Russo text their love for each other using acronyms like LOL, BBL and of course ILY (I Love You). All four performers play a role in “Music Competition”, a hilarious riff on composers competing to create the worst corporate Hold music intended to get customers to hang up.
Computers get their fair share of skewering. In “Making It”, the cast ponders how to achieve fame by creating a viral post. In “Wired”Russo and McHenry perform a calisthenics workout while wired in every possible manner (and I mean every!). Larsen falls in love with the voice on his GPS in “Driving Companion”, wishing he could “globally position” with her. In “Revolving Door”, Russo, McHenry and Goodwin drop every big tech company in a ridiculous play on job migrations.
Asking a ten year old for tech advice, the horror of trying to reset a password with onerous restrictions and rules, and the sadness of getting no ‘Likes’ on your post are all easily recognizable facts of modern life. Bobrow’s revue had me nodding my head in empathy with the cast. While we can all laugh at the ridiculousness of our situations, there’s a subtext of isolation and detachment in the world that is universally connected. Very clever stuff and Megabytes! The Musical is another Bobrow hit.
Performances run through March 3rd, 2018 www.megabytesthemusical.com 800.838.3006