TALKIN' BROADWAY.COM May 5, 2006
SHOPPING! THE MUSICAL
IS A FROTHY MUSICAL REVUE
By Richard Connema
Morris Bobrow's Shopping! The Musical is currently playing in the intimate Shelton Theatre near Union
Square, San Francisco. This clever and sparkling revue is an open end run and is attracting many tourists.
Shopping! The Musical reminds me of those wonderful little revues that used to occur down in the Village in
New York or the great Billy Barnes shows in Los Angeles. This fast paced one hour and twenty minute song
fest about shopping is performed by four very talented singers who know how to put a song over. Morris
Bobrow who has written and directed numerous musicals, including the recent travel revue Are We Almost
There?. He has devised 24 songs about shopping delivered at an amazing speed.
Bobrow knows how to present the lost art of a musical revue. His parodies are not political but more a social
commentary on the art of shopping. Everyone who sees the revue will identify with some aspect of shopping.
His songs remind me of musical satirist Tom Lehrer.
Shopping! The Musical has hilarious lampoons of shopping at wholesale houses like Costco under the title of
"Shopping with Style," in which a person buys a six year supply of toilet paper or carts his stuff home in a
Bekins truck. "Department Store Blues" is entertaining when the delightful Alison Peltz sings "Who do I have
to screw to get some help?" There is a great country western song sung by Kim Larsen about a macho man
shopping in a hardware store. Kim is also funny as a shy husband trying to buy a birthday gift for his wife at
One of the great side-splitting moments is a non-musical number with Alison Peltz, Kim Larsen and Coley
Grundman in the checkout line at a supermarket. Alison is a customer who goes over the top, checking each
item to the frustration of Kim playing the clerk. It is a sketch that is worthy of Saturday Night Live.
Sara Hauter is first rate in a song about women who are obsessed with buying things from QVC or the Home
Shopping Network. She is also very funny on the song "A Fit Fit" when she sings about an outfit that is "all
about the butt and not looking like a slut." There is a great song about Internet shopping called "Click," sung
well by Alison Peltz. Coley Grundman has a cool natural voice in "Sounding Off," which is about a customer
who is very irritated about canned music in a supermarket. He also has great vocal chops in "May I Help
You?" about a servile salesman trying to sell a lamp to Alison Peltz. Anyone who has been to a street fair
where they sell things you really don't want will appreciate the group singing about the wonders of buying
these goods; even the props are uproarious.
Coley Grundman, Sara Hauter, Kim Larsen and Alison Peltz give polished performances and they know how
to handle this kind of fast paced revue. Musical accompaniment on the piano by Ben Keim is first rate.
AWAT Productions presents
San Francisco's Longest Running Original Show!
|Shopping! The Musical is a musical comedy revue of original songs and
sketches about everybody's second-favorite (in some cases, favorite)
activity. The fast-paced show targets all kinds of stores, customers and
merchants, as it focuses on the frustrations, annoyances, and occasional
joys of . . . what else? . . SHOPPING!
|"A CARTFUL OF LAUGHTER!"
-San Francisco Chronicle
"INFECTIOUS, IRREVERENT HUMOR!
A clever collection of tunes - songs
that bring to mind Jerry Seinfeld's
"SLYLY FUNNY LYRICS!
THE MORE YOU SHOP, THE MORE
YOU WILL ENJOY 'SHOPPING!'"
-Contra Costa Times
"LOTS OF LAUGHS! A FUN SHOW!"
"'SHOPPING THE MUSICAL'
-San Francisco Bay Times
(SEE MORE REVIEWS BELOW)
|For Cast Album
click "Contact Us"
|WINNER! BAY AREA THEATER
CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
SAN FRANCISCO BAY TIMES - April 20, 2011
By Lynn Ruth Miller
SHOPPING! THE MUSICAL . . . too good to miss
Morris Bobrow has a way of exposing human realities we do not like to admit and the amazing thing is that the
weapon he uses to rip through out politically correct facades is music. You cannot attend any of his
deliciously funny musical productions without wondering, "How did he know we do it that way?" And, no
wonder. Bobrow is the recipient of four San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards for outstanding
music and lyrics, the Back Stage Bistro Award for outstanding cabaret revue in New York, and two
DramaLogue Critic's Circle Awards.
SHOPPING! is a stellar example of his talent. Bobrow has assembled an amazing cast to sing 24 songs and
a reprise about that favorite of all American sports: buying stuff. The acting and singing are top notch, the
energy and pace is choice and the 90 minute show seems like one gloriously funny moment of truth. Lydia
Wirth and Andre Cravens created the choreography for singers who are not dancers and Angela Dwyer
keeps the music going like a breathless romp.
This is an ensemble piece and although each singer has his moments, it is their enthusiastic working together
that captivates the audience. When David Goodwin sings that his dreams to become a concert pianist have
diminished into a job playing piano at Nordstrom, we all know the feeling. When he stands in line while his ice
cream melts into soup behind an earnest Deborah Russo counting change and hassling clerk Kim Larsen, we
remember when it happened to us. The musical runs the gamut of the shopping experience from street fairs
to the delight of buying those useless tchotchkes at the five and dime store. Bobrow takes a few
uncomfortable jabs at addictive computer shopping and the mystery of what the handling charge is all about.
There is a wonderfully awkward moment when Kim Larsen sings "What Am I Doing Here?" buying lingerie for
his wife. And, who hasn't worried just like Sara Hauter when she tries to find jeans that really fit. "It's all about
the butt," she sings . . . and you know? She's right.
Each number rings a familiar bell. The last song is the last straw. What happens when we bring our
purchases home? Well, you know as well as they do: it doesn't fit, it doesn't work, it isn't what we thought it
was. . . and yet, when a new day dawns and our optimism is refreshed, what do we all do? You guessed it.
We go SHOPPING!
Reality can be a bitter pill unless it is sugar coated in glorious melody and adorable dance. Treat yourself to
this bon-bon that rings all too true and cannot fail to delight even as we squirm remembering when that very
thing happened to us.
6 1/2 YEARS!
|***SPECIAL EAST BAY
December 4 (8 PM)
(2 PM & 8 PM)
THE VILLAGE THEATRE
233 Front Street,