Get Cultured — October 26, 2015 at 2:25 pm

“Fatty Fatty No Friends” is the Perfect Musical for the Season

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“Fatty Fatty no friends, it’s the song that never ends…”

Hear those words. Let them become part of you. Let them seep into you. Realize what they mean then… unleash on them! Halloween season brings another great seasonal tale for us to watch on stage. After taking a break from the horrific with a little stroll through Broadway, I went back to the land of nightmares and boy was I excited about it. How can you not when the next show is a Mind The Art Entertainment production, the same people that a few months back produced the quirky brilliance that was “Beware of The Chupacabra,” how can you not be excited? Oh yeah, expectations were high when I went down to the C.O.W, which most of the time ends in a sort of disappointment. Not because the show ends up being bad, but because expectations already had decided this for you. There’s rare occasions that the show reaches those high expectations we go in with. Then there’s the even most bizarre occasions that a production meets those expectations then raises above them. So does “Fatty Fatty No Friends” deliver?

“Fatty Fatty No Friends” is a dark operetta that explores the effects of bullying, classism, and the fragile mental state of human beings through the eyes of an overweight child living in a gothic version of our reality. Haunted by his own self, the story follows Tommy through a day in his life as the “fatty” from the title. The usual cliches of such stories are used and then reinvented. There are undertones of something sinister guiding our hand through the cheerful music that accompanies it. The amazing voices telling us the beats of the story as they happen and we follow each one with ghoulish delight. This is a children’s show aimed at adults, (or an adult show made for kids) that takes great pleasure of welcoming us into the web of adult themes that are mixed with the simple narrative. This creates an elaborate message at the end, one that is poignant, and it does it without hitting you over the head with it. Most children’s show wear their message on their sleeve, this one might be obvious, but the way it’s told makes it unique and exciting. And children should be able to see it, besides the gory and twisted ending, this is perfect for them. After all, fairy tales used to be like this, to scare children and amuse them at the same time and in the process, teach them.

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The staging is creative, yet subtle. Not much stage to talk about. The musical aspects of the show are played on stage by a band that is as much a part of the show as the actors are. I would catch myself staring at them. And the music they played! What a joy! One of my favorite musical moments is at the very start when our main character sings his heart out about the one thing that makes him happy, his stretchy pants. Jason Sofge’s performance as Tommy was breathtaking. He allowed himself to be as silly as a kid would be, becoming one, and in the process made us fall in love with the grotesque character they all described. For us he is not grotesque, he is a child, a misunderstood and unloved child that needs the attention the same way the others do. We understand his plight, his fear of the bus, his attitude of belonging, and his yearning for that one real friend that in the end will be his fall. The rest of the cast was spectacular, especially the evil clique, who were deliciously mischievous!

The one thing I’m mad about with this show is its length! Yes, it is a perfect run time for a kid’s show, but for me as an adult I wanted to see more… mostly because I didn’t want these characters go. Not yet, and after Beware of The Chupacabra went two and a half hours long without intermission (they are lucky it was great, that type of length without intermission can make someone kill a person,) I was hoping this one was at least half an hour longer!

“Fatty Fatty No Friends” by De Gré, Reese Anderson & Gay, is playing at the C.O.W (The Celebration of Whimsy: 21 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002) until the end of this month. Before I end up this review, I want to explain my rating for it. I’m giving it four stars, which is the same I gave “On Your Feet.” Is it as good as “On Your Feet,” which is playing in a Broadway house? I liked it more, but I also judged it differently. “On Your Feet” was an amazing entertainment piece which trails the story of an icon with the usual Broadway glam. The book was paper thin, but the rating was for the experience, which I will cherish as a latino and a theater goer. Here, we have a show with not even a quarter of its budget that manages to achieve twice the charm. Mind Your Art Entertainment is doing great work out there; this revival of their award-winning show reaffirms it. I hope not much time passes between now and when we see these crazy folks’ shows on the bigger stages. I can see it and so will you once you see this production. So does it deliver? Do you need to ask?

Out of 4 stars:

4 stars

SUPPORT NEW WORK!!!

Twisted Talk: Have you seen any productions by Mind the Art Entertainment? What’s the last off-Broadway show you’ve seen? Discuss below!

One Comment

  1. After a somewhat hopeless attempt to score tickets for this show from using gibberish links on this page, here’s a more direct link to get tickets:

    http://www.mindtheartentertainment.com/fattyfatty/

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