Do not mistake this musical for Metamorphoses. Eschewing hoity-toity readings of the ancient myth as an allegory of flesh reconciling with spirit or superego nuzzling up to id, writer Sean Hartley and composer Jihwan Kim have reduced the tale of Cupid and Psyche to one long mother-in-law joke. Much to Mom Venus's horror, Cupid (Barrett Foa with frat boy swagger and seminarian candor) finds himself all aquiver for earthling Psyche (Deborah Lew). With the help of sidekick Mercury (Logan Lipton playing god-as-fey-bike-messenger), Cupid struggles to cut his chiton strings and get the girl. (Not to mention finding a way to overlook that whole pesky mortality bit.)
Cupid and Psyche John Houseman Studio Theater
450 West 42nd Street
Attired in a smutty chiffon caftan (sartorially minded viewers, you are forewarned), Laura Marie Duncan's flashy Venus gives brassy renditions of Hartley and Kim's innocuous show tunes. The other cast members also embrace the simpleminded songs, delivering them with guileless zeal. Neither lyrics, music, direction, nor performances prove much to write home from Mount Olympus about, but everyone tries awfully hard. That Hartley and Kim have collaborated on five children's musicals surprises not at alltheir only nod to the adult audience occurs in the mention of a "wet toga contest." Disney films have proved racier. Where's that slutty Little Mermaid when you need her?