CHiPS the Musical
The Troubies spoof of the 1970s television show is thinner than their best fare, but still full of plenty of laughs.
But the show, while satisfying, is not among their best. Sending up the misogynistic and homophobic television show of the 1970s, about a pair of ultra-macho highway patrolmen, results in a fairly thin and rambling story. You can sense the cast knows the text to be flimsy. Even as they go off on their usual improvisational fodder and many of their hurled quips land a bulls-eye, one is aware that there are plenty of moments in this two-hour production that could have been easily tightened.
The use of composer Henry Phillips' original songs also proves to be a less successful choice. On the plus side, the tunes are valid for the period and have a good beat. However, they are not very memorable, and many don't enhance the story. Moreover, some of the cast strain to hit their notes -- and it's often the display of the performers' top-notch musical abilities (in dance and singing) that help makes the Troubies such an outstanding group.
Sherry Santillano's sets include a humongous television which makes fun of 1970s television rear projection -- at one point Ponch and John ride their bikes through grocery stores and on a roller coaster. And the costumes by the always inventive Sharon McGunigle remark on why the 1970s was known as "Jiggle TV."