Theater archives

Diplomatic License


You half expect to see projections of the words “Ka-pow!” or “BAM!” before
How to Save the World . . . ends. Perhaps it’s because Christopher Gattelli has directed and choreographed this musical with a cheesy flair reminiscent of the Batman television series from the 1960s. Maybe it’s simply because Eartha Kitt (who played Catwoman in that series) is appearing in another musical next door. At the center of How to Save the World’s musical mayhem is Miles (Michael McEachran), an earnest but hapless bookstore clerk at the U.N. who dreams of becoming a member of the diplomatic corps and sharing the bed of sexpot Violet Zipper (Nicole Ruth Snelson), a U.N. representative. One day he’s beaned by a bunch of melons hurled by Guatemalan protesters and gains the ability to read minds, allowing him to discover that Violet’s French-accented, clean-freak boyfriend (also played by McEachran) plans to blow up the U.N. Not only must Miles save the day (McEachran does battle with himself, switching costumes madly), he also must discover that his true love is his New Age–y bookstore co-worker Julie (Anika Larsen). Three other performers act as a latter-day Greek chorus, playing roles ranging from Violet’s shrink to a Tibetan yogi. They also provide running commentary on the action, which ultimately results in insubstantial theater—perfect for theatergoers simply looking for a goofball night out.