Zombies lack the romantic appeal of vampires. Drinking blood—kind of sexy. Chomping on brains and assorted viscera—rather a mess. Nevertheless, writer-director William Electric Black has tried to harness the amorous possibilities of the undead for his new musical My Boyfriend Is a Zombie, at Theater for the New City. In this none-too-lively '50s-style tuner, teen queen Paula Pearstone (Nicole Patullo) rejects her delinquent swain, Hotrod (Jeremy Lardieri), for the putrid charms of GRRR (Jamaal Kendall).
My Boyfriend Is a Zombie By William Electric Black Theater for the New City 155 First Avenue, 212-254-1109
Black has spent much of his career as a writer for Sesame Street and, despite the occasional references to booze and Chevy backseats, this show seems aimed at a similar demographic. Sometimes, the scenes have an appealing silliness, but the book and lyrics are lamentably juvenile: "So the girls decided to run/'Cause when a zombie gets hungry/Your ass is done." The tunes themselves rely on apt, if undistinguished, period pastiche—pop, doo-wop, a lame attempt at soul.
One troubling note: The slobbering, ravening zombies are played by African-American actors, while the objects of their appetites are not. Imagine Grease, with the threat of miscegenation and the stench of rotting flesh. "We Go Together"? Not so much.