Pet Scare Theater: The Musical | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Pet Scare Theater: The Musical 

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Pet Scare Theater: The Musical, Factory Theater.

There are only a few milestones in the life of a poor, young theater company: first production, first hit, first company member to get a role in a sitcom. Pet Scare Theater: The Musical represents another first for the Factory Theater: first bomb. Written by, directed by, and starring Jill Rothamer, this tedious musical is all flaws. The story is silly: employees of a pet store are haunted by a trio of annoying, not very funny ghosts. The characters are flat and lame: boy, girl, black ghost, white ghost, girl ghost, dippy store manager. And the dialogue was so painful and humorless I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn't just having another of my recurring bad-theater nightmares.

As for the performances--well, who can tell in this case? The only actor who consistently gets laughs-- Nick Digilio--gets them all with a Letterman-ish delivery that turns every line into a sarcastic comment on the hellish show he's found himself in. I do know, thanks to the democratic way that Walter Tambor and Jeff Wallenfeldt's songs were handed out among the cast, that no one in this ensemble can sing. But then, why would you want to ruin an otherwise perfectly awful musical with well-performed songs?

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