A Holiday Trek through Shrek, Pal Joey, and ReWrite.

Season's greetings?

Stock characters get a bouncy, cheery musical: ReWrite
Alex Koch
Stock characters get a bouncy, cheery musical: ReWrite


Shrek the Musical
By David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori
Broadway Theatre1681 Broadway, 212-239-6200

Pal Joey
By John O'Hara, Lorenz Hart, and Richard Rodgers
New book by Richard Greenberg
Roundabout Studio 54
254 West 54th Street, 212-719-1300

By Joe Iconis
Urban Stages
259 West 30th Street, 212-868-4444

These giant thuds make ReWrite's triptych of trivialities look like the first violet of spring. Way overamplified for the tiny space, Joe Iconis's bouncy show-rock score depicts the tiny stories of stock types: the geeky high school boy who can't get a prom date; the geeky future of the girl who turns him down; the geeky songwriter (named Joe) who invented them. No imaginative reach, no subtlety, everything wildly overdone—but youth, energy, and a hint of better things to come make up for a lot, as do terrific new presences like Badia Farha and A.J. Shively. Will they rescue the Broadway musical when they grow up? Hedge your bets and call it a Christmas wish.

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