The raucously low-class reality show Jersey Shore tends to spoof itself, so a musical mockery of it seemed to me like a bad idea.
But the production I just saw at the Actors Playhouse — which was a hit at the Fringe Festival — was a winner, because it’s fast-moving, with nonstop music and raunchy antics, never lingering too long on any one romantic squabble or social disease.
Best of all, it adds a level of sweetness that makes the show closer to Grease than to reality TV.
Karen DiConcetto is perfect as the rarely satisfied Snooki, Max Crumm is effective as the narcissistic Situation (with painted-on abs — and a case of crabs), Willam Belli rocks as a likably trashy JWoww, and in fact everyone in the show is well-cast and lively.
The result doesn’t achieve the heights of Jerry Springer, The Rock Opera — it’s all pretty thin and silly — but numbers like “Grow Some Balls” and “I Fucking Hate You” and dialogue like “We’re like the Montagues and the DiCaprios” generally leave you smiling.
In fact, while the real Snooki and the gang usually make you want to choke them, their satirists make you want to applaud.