And as quickly as Lend Me a Tenor, “this summer’s new musical comedy hit” arrived, it will depart on August 6, 2011 having played a two month run and barely seeing any form of the summer mentioned in its tagline. Another new musical succumbs to what its producers have called no “growing sales”, despite largely positive notices from the press and some extremely keen audiences.
So where did Il Stupendo go wrong? Far be it from me to provide a musical post mortem, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the show a few weeks ago, but it would never survive a long run in its current package. The farcical plot causes the first half to concentrate on set up and introduction and in turn made me concentrate far more than I felt I should’ve done when watching a bright “musical comedy” - I don’t think I relaxed into my seat until 5 minutes into the second half.
Yet the second half whizzes along at breakneck speed with the pay off laughs from Act One’s somewhat clunky set up, held back only by a forgettable score and Matthew Kelly’s incessant shouting. What a pity.