by DICK KEREKES
The Artist Series strives to bring something for everyone in its 44th season. On Wednesday night they opened a new and unique musical that debuted in Jupiter Florida less than three years ago, but is destined to reach the entire country in the future. Food Fight is a novel look at the age old problem of weight control. Ever notice how large the diet book section is in the library and book stores? If everyone who has ever gone on a diet goes to see this musical, it is will be a resounding success.
It certainly was a successful opening night. If laughter makes you lose weight, a whole lot it was left at the Wilson Center by the appreciative audience. If you want your chance to laugh and lose, Food Fight will play through May 9, (Mother’s Day).
Alan Jacobson, the writer and producer of this show, has taken 25 well known songs and rewritten the lyrics to examine the plight of those who fight the battle of the calories.
It is set in a modern women’s gym, complete with a small snack bar and dressing room and some equipment. Director Andrew Rogow has cast four fantastic singing ladies in three sizes, small, medium and large (typical of who you would find working out at most gyms). In the course of 90 minutes, these talented ladies do not stop singing and dancing and making us laugh. Oh in between there is a little chitchat about their personal lives and some of the best spoken lines like: “I’d have an operation for my weight but I am afraid of knives, why can’t I be afraid of forks and spoons?” or “if I want to look young I go and sit at the pool at my mother’s condominium.” The ladies range in age from about 30 to well, that is hard to tell as hair dye is so good these days. Their energy level is like young ladies in their 20s.
You receive a program with all 25 of the song titles, which are a hoot in themselves. My companion went through the list before the show started and tried to guess which song tunes were used. For example, the song “Lazy” used the tune to Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” “If I had a Bagel” used “If I had a Hammer.” In the course of the evening you will hear tunes from West Side Story, Oliver, Funny Girl, and Chorus Line just to name a few. I missed several others as it is hard to write when you are laughing. One of my favorites had the ladies with large Pilate balls and using the tune from Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend in “Big Balls are a Girl’s best Friends.” There are many other real surprises too but I will let you discover them should you choose to go, and you should.
The biographies of the ladies, Amanda Shae Wilburn, Lili Martin, Tatee Patterson and Missy McArdie, are impressive. Ms. McCredie is one of the original cast members, and is terrific singing “If I Were Size Two” sung to the tune of “If I Were a Rich Man.” Can she belt out a song? I thought I was seeing a reincarnation of the late great Ethel Merman.
I remember the first time I went to see Menopause, the Musical and was one of the few men in the audience. Food Fight is much like Menopause and definitely appeals to the ladies, and they are the ones who are going to make this as just as successful.
It was a pleasure to hear four unique voices individually, melting into exciting ensemble numbers. Kevin Black’s chorography kept this a fast paced show and always interesting.
This is one of those sleeper shows, not well known yet, but inspirational and destined to grow in popularity. Don’t miss it. It would make a great gift for Mom.
FOOD FIGHT, A MUSICAL COMEDY FOR WAIST WATCHERS
by DICK KEREKES