Reviews Off-Broadway Published 23 August 2011

FringeNYC: Part 2

Glee, Scream, bluegrass, and sex scandals at the Fringe.

Richard Patterson

Glee + Scream = Gleeam.


by Andrew Lloyd Baughman, with lyrics by Phil Close and additional vocal arrangements by Charles W. Johnson 

directed by Emily Ann Jablonski

Le Poisson Rouge

The challenge, when sending up a TV show as popular as Glee and a film series as revered by fans as Scream, is to find the balance between reverence and reverie necessary to make something new and fresh out of characters and situations that are familiar to audiences.

Mashing up the archetypal “meta” antics of Scream by naming its characters after stock types (Sensitive Jock, Dumb Slut, Black Girl, and Wheelchair Kid are just a few), Gleeam, currently playing at Le Poisson Rouge, hits some of the notes necessary to tickle an audience’s funny bones but ultimately fizzles.

Some of those involved have obvious comedic talent (Harv Lester is hilarious as Sensitive Jock and Honi Harlow impresses in a burlesque cameo as Drama Queen), but more often than not the semi-sprightly cast assembled just don’t work up the energy to bash Glee as joyously as we’d all like to witness.

With a treasure trove of jokes to be mined, Gleeam more often than not takes the easy road out. “Public Lesbian Makeout” provides a moment of genuine hilarity, as Dumb Slut and Slutty Slut strive to prove their sapphic prowess in an outrageous song, and “Gay Enough For Love,” an anthemic power ballad of forbidden gay love, is charming enough, but more often than not the songs here peter out before they get a chance to soar.

Clocking in at about 45 minutes, Gleeam never outstays its welcome, which is one of its chief assets. The show manages, mostly, to entertain, though by the time the finale, a melodically-altered version of “Don’t Stop Believing” (altered to include slasher lyrics like “Don’t stop the cleaving”) comes along, it feels like the time is right the curtain to fall. Just don’t say, “I’ll be back.”

Remaining Shows: FRI 26 @ 3:45

– Richard Patterson


Richard Patterson

A graduate of New York University with a degree in Dramatic Literature, Richard was deputy theatre editor at from 2008-2011 and New York Editor of Exeunt from 2011-2016. He is excited to continue on as a contributor. With a penchant for Sondheim, the Bard, and Beckett, as well as for new writing, theatergoing highlights include Fiona Shaw's Winnie in "Happy Days," Derek Jacobi's Lear, Jonathan Pryce in "The Caretaker," and Chiwetel Ejiofor's Othello at the Donmar. Richard's criticism has been published in The Sondheim Review.

FringeNYC: Part 2 Show Info



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