Moose Murders, Classic Broadway Bomb, Is Back
The original Playbill. Naturally, I own it.
The gold standard in flops, Moose Murders was the 1983 Broadway bad-taste comedy set in a motor lodge, where a blind singer, burn victim, German nurse, twisted Shirley Temple type, incestuous mother, and other loonies converged for parlor games and foul play.
AARP magazine ranked it as the fifth worst failure of the entire century--right below New Coke!
Well, a small theater company has bravely brought it back with rewrites, and this time it seemed more of a homage to Arthur Kopit's classic dragon-lady absurdist comedy Oh Dad, Poor Dad than I realized in '83.
But let me not review this. I can't. My jaw is still on the floor from what I saw.
A few of the bits are still zanily funny, though there are long stretches of such stupefaction that Springtime for Hitler occasionally leaped to mind.
It's all very aggressive and ludicrous, but unlike two theater writers who bolted at intermission, I stayed to the end, and now have two programs for Moose Murders that I can dine off for decades.
Check it out for yourself, if you dare. When all the nuts are situated onstage in a macabre tableaux, you think, "This isn't Mamma Mia".
From the Broadway original. Photo by Gerry Goodstein