By FISH GRIWKOWSKY, Express Writer
EDMONTON -- There's nothing like a decent musical - which
TRIPpin' just happens to be something like. A mix of Homer,
Hair and gay porn, TRIPpin' is not your ancestors' Odyssey
(especially if you ain't Greek).
What it is is a rather ambitious retelling of Homer's classic
poem that almost no one's ever read. Well, having read the
big mess in university, I'll say this: watching it is a lot
more fun, if occasionally completely confusing.
The play puts burgeoning Frampton Comes Alive-like rock star
Otis (Adam Blocka) in search of his name in lights. Of course,
this is The Odyssey, so he does so in a boat adrift at sea.
Along for the ride are band members Bootie and Charmaine,
played with a kind of child-like enthusiasm by Trevor Schmidt
(who also directs and does the groovy costumes) and Michelle
It's apparent throughout the cast are fans of both Jesus Christ
Superstar and that beast disco in general. Ultimately a road
movie, the trio
|encounters a series of
weird, gold Afro-ed sea creatures and walking one-eyed drug
references (Angela Flatekval), all the while enduring Otis's
pining for his left-behind and seriously sexy Penny (Cailin
But the plot, both to you, good Fringer, and the production
company, becomes irrelevant behind a series of flashy disco-rock
numbers, choreographed and sung at levels that are both pro
and, well, less pro.
Like I said: ambitious.
Part of the problem is that while the three female cast members
are quite good singers, the boys are a little rough around the
vocal edges. Being about music as well as being a musical, this
is hard to forgive. And the songs themselves fail to advance
the plot enough, coming off as slightly showing off.
But the costumes, particularly Bob Rasko's Mr. Hades, and the
general vibe in the joint is worth seeing. You'll end up humming
Donna Summer's Hot Stuff to yourself as you wander back into
the real world, which can only look a little duller after this