Book by Christian De Gre, Joseph-Reese-Anderson & Serra Gay; Music by Christian De Gre; Lyrics by Joseph Reese-Anderson; Directed by Christian De Gre
Part of the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, New Musical
Runs through 8.23.14
The Flamboyan Theater at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street
by Greg Solomon on 8.15.14
BOTTOM LINE: While not a finished piece, Fatty Fatty No Friends shows a great deal of potential.
Fatty Fatty No Friends gets off to an incredible start introducing us to the character of Tommy (Jason Sofge). He wakes up terrified to face the day ahead at school in a sequence that feels like a twisted take on "Good Morning Baltimore," the opening number in the musical Hairspray. As he spins about his room beaming about the joys of elastic waist pants, the audience instantly falls in love with the overweight boy.
Of course, dark times are ahead as the kids at school make fun of him until he eventually cracks and devours them. From here the show loses steam a bit as it turns into a tale about redemption and temptation with a tone switch that doesn’t quite feel at home.
Although uneven, there’s a great deal of talent behind this production. Some of the songs by Christian De Gre and Joseph Reese-Anderson are quite memorable and Sofge is an incredible talent. Fatty Fatty No Friends is well worth attending, especially through the first third of the piece. In the notes from the creators in the program, they point out that "this piece is still in development" and unfortunately it shows in the final scenes. I sincerely hope that the artists continue to workshop it and present in again in a more polished presentation. Until then, I will have the title song stuck in my head whenever I pass by a larger person on the street and feel an immense pang of guilt for noticing.
(Fatty Fatty No Friends plays at the Flamboyan Theatre at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, through August 23, 2014. Remaining performances are Friday 8/15 at 7PM; Sunday 8/17 at 12PM; Tuesday 8/19 at 11PM; Wednesday 8/20 at 7:30PM; Thursday 8/21 at 7:15PM: and Saturday 8/23 at 3PM. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org.)