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Published on August 31st, 2012 | by Louis

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Triassic Parq: Fun With Teeth

New York shows have to be pret­ty good to stick around- au­di­ences can be fick­le, and with so much com­pe­ti­tion, on­ly the fittest sur­vive. While I was ini­tial­ly skep­ti­cal of the con­cept of an Off-Broad­way mu­si­cal that is a take on a block­buster di­nosaur movie, I have to say I was ful­ly won over. From the at­mo­spher­ic the­atre set­up to the en­er­get­ic per­for­mances and the bril­liant cast per­form­ing great num­bers, the pro­duc­tion oozes orig­i­nal­i­ty and hu­mor. Check this one out!

The gim­mick is sim­ple: Tri­as­sic Parq is ba­si­cal­ly an ex­plo­ration of how the di­nosaurs of Juras­sic Park may have re­act­ed (if they were the­atre-per­form­ing per­son­al­i­ties and philo­soph­i­cal­ly cu­ri­ous, that is).  Fol­low­ing the evo­lu­tion from an all-fe­male safe­ly-fed sta­ble world in­to a chaot­ic gen­der-bend­ing self-dis­cov­er­ing tran­si­tion, Tri­as­sic Parq packs clever jokes, smart film ref­er­ences and poignant ques­tions in­to its in­ter­val-free show. It opens with a nar­ra­tor whose con­fused iden­ti­ty works as a run­ning gag and we are quick­ly in­tro­duced to the T-Rex­es and ve­loci­rap­tors that are the cen­ter of the show. Mov­ing through themes like re­li­gion (‘the peo­ple feed us, Lab be praised!’), sex and in­tel­lec­tu­al cu­rios­i­ty, the show keeps a good rhythm and ev­ery­thing is exquisite­ly chore­ographed. It may be a lit­tle over-the-top and you re­al­ly shouldn’t take it se­ri­ous­ly at all, but it is gen­uine­ly fun and fun­ny, and it’s easy to see why it was award­ed ‘Best Mu­si­cal’ at 2010′s NY Fringe Fes­ti­val.

I found my­self thor­ough­ly en­joy­ing the ad­ven­ture and oc­ca­sion­al­ly won­dered whether this was the kind of ma­te­ri­al that could make the leap to a full-on Broad­way show. While the en­er­gy and in­ten­si­ty lends it­self well, I am re­mind­ed by some of the cheeki­er scenes that maybe this is a show best suit­ed for stay­ing in the Vil­lage. Nonethe­less, by the time the fan­tas­tic fi­nale song comes around, I was al­ready con­vinced of what a great ad­di­tion Tri­as­sic Parq is to the Off-Broad­way scene. The re­cent run at the So­Ho Play­house has gone ex­tinct (ahem), but I guar­an­tee a show of this qual­i­ty will come back and when it does, don’t miss it.

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