FRINGENYC: Terms of Dismemberment

                                  WACKY CAST MEMBER 1
Let's sing about gun nuts, wont that be funny?


WACKY CAST MEMBER 2
Let's sing about drinking pee, that should be hysterical
right?


WACKY CAST MEMBER 3
Hey everyone, you should join me in a song about selling
a 14 year old's ovaries, that'd be CCCRRRRRAAAZZZZYYYY!


 ANY PEOPLE IN AUDIENCE
WHO ARE ACTUALLY LAUGHING
Ha ha, my friends in this show are so hysterical. 
Especially when they gave me free pot before the show
began.

Look, I love shock humor.  I think making fun of redneck gun control is great.  And I'm a big fan of breaking the fourth wall as much as possible.  So why is it that I couldn't possibly recommend Terms of Dismemberment to anybody unless they came in already high?  Perhaps it is because this musical feels like it was written in a single three hour marijuana-induced session, and nobody ever went back while sober to see if what they wrote was any good, never mind funny.

The plot, which confused the hell out of me, is something like this: a mother-of-two's husband recently died of something involving a card game, and she won't bury him for some reason, and has no way to make money to afford electricity or her daughter's yodeling and/or line dancing lessons.  She gets a waitress job and there meets a guy who she might have some romantic relation with.   He suggests making money through webinars (which for some reason in this musical means being an in person one-on-one positive reinforcement counselor).  Also she moves in with her dead husband's brother who Believes In Guns, and she might have some romantic relation with him.  And sells her daughters' hair and ovaries. 

I'm sure the writers had good intentions of creating the Next Hilarious Quirky Edgy Musical.  But the characters endlessly waffled motivations and desires from one scene to the next, and you could see the pointless songs straining to be funny.  One lyric in particular lazily joked that there wasn't a third rhyme that they could find for the word "cuts", which, well, isn't true.  It came across as if every time a cast member made other cast members laugh in rehearsal they put it into the show (an actor suddenly walks out onstage out of character and says "that's irony!" during one uneventful moment) and the result is a sloppy, directionless musical no matter how much tireless sweat the cast pours in.

I commend the team to keep writing musicals; one particularly hilarious number with singing and dancing ovaries shows the sort of comedy they were attempting for throughout the show.  Hopefully they'll find a future stable project to rest their ideas and ambition onto.  Terms of Dismemberment, unfortunately, is not it.

Terms of Dismemberment: A Musical with Heart...and Other Body Parts
http://www.fringenyc.org/basic_page.php?ltr=T
http://www.termsofdismemberment.com/
VENUE #12: Lucille Lortel Theatre
Wed 18 @ 4:30  Thu 19 @ 2  Mon 23 @ 8:45  Fri 27 @ 7  Sat 28 @ 2:30 


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