THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide


Written and Directed by Charlie Hall

Music Director David Lussier

Produced by David Goldstein of THE MYSTERY CAFÉ


Wendy Heyman

Tom Berry

Mary MacDermott

Charlie McCarthy

MASS HYSTERIA! plays four nights a week --- but each night is in a different city!
That means that after every performance they have to tear down all four mike-stands and their speakers and even the short, shallow stage and David Lussier's on-stage piano to set up again in Andover, or Saugus, or back in Boston for a "long" two-night run at the Old Spaghetti Factory.
Lends a new meaning to the phrase "A band of strolling players" doesn't it?
This show is in the form of a topical, political Revue, which means it is much more than a mere night-club routine without ever becoming a book musical. The closest they come to that is a string of songs and comic bits in which two studs from "ReVEah" try to chat up a couple haidresser chicks from Chelsea --- ending with a set of new snappy lyrics to the tune of "Tell Me More, Tell Me More!"
Charlie Hall has written new, barbed lyrics for such tunes as The Village People's "M.B.T.A.!" or a send-up of The Big Dig called "Under The SIDEwalk!" or a tonge-twisting finale rippling off dozens of place-names in the Bay State to the music of "SuperCalaFragilisticIForgetSomeWordsHere!"
It's impossible to review this Revue without giving away some of the choice surprises, like a bit where Mayor Menino's speech is given a simultaneous translation for the mumble-impaired. Or Ambassador Ray Flynn and Professor Michael Dukakis commisserating on the end of their political careers,brightening only because "I Got You Babe!"
The parade of unforgettable personalities include a portly Ted Kennedy ignoring his singing chores to chat up any and every pretty girl at the front tables, an over-ambitious Bill Weld, and an over-sauced Julia Childe. There's a Red Sox fan whose rapid rap runs through every sport the city supports from the Bean Pot to bacci-ball; a plaintive parker hoping "There's A SPACE For Us!"; and a Patriots' owner named Dorothy seeking the fabled MegaPlex in the emerald city of Boston.
Luckily, even a list like this only scratches the surface and can take no account of the inspirations and updates Charlie Hall and his cast expect to add as time goes on. And it says nothing of the irrepressible vigor of the on-stage piano-playing of Music Director David Lussier, inside whom forever bounces the spirit of a dimented muppet. The well-fed audiences in Andover and Saugus and Boston can look forward to lots of laughs as their after-dinner aperitif.

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide