They known as “Titanique” the present of desires. Fever desires. And it was, it actually was.
The off-Broadway cuckoo camp-fest on the Asylum in Chelsea is, by a nautical mile, the funniest musical on the town proper now and is constructed on an unsinkable concept: It tells the story of the 1997 film “Titanic” utilizing the songs of French-Canadian chanteuse Celine Dion.
One hour, 40 minutes with no intermission. At Asylum NYC, 307 West twenty sixth St.
It’s scandaleux that nobody has ever considered this mashup earlier than.
In spite of everything, no singer is extra carefully tied to a (non-musical) film of this scale than Celine is to James Cameron’s “Titanic” — the 2 feed off one another — and the remainder of her standard catalog has the identical emotional heft and theatrical narratives because the Oscar-winning movie’s signature track “My Coronary heart Will Go On.”
And co-writers Marla Mindelle, Constantine Rousouli and Tye Blue cleverly toss in a boatload of ’em wherever they’ll.
When Jack and Rose first meet on deck, as Rose is contemplating throwing herself overboard, they sing a duet of “Taking Possibilities.”
“What do you say to taking probabilities? What do you say to leaping off the sting?” they go. Perfection.
Because the captain, hilariously solely known as Victor Garber, an Irish-inflected Frankie Grande bops by way of “I Drove All Evening” as he pushes the doomed ship to go quicker and quicker.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown, performed by Kathy Deitch, after surviving the tragedy, belts “All By Myself”: “These days are goooone!”
The state of affairs has change into past bonkers by the point Jaye Alexander because the Iceberg wails “River Deep, Mountain Excessive” in a neon blue flapper wig and forces the opposite characters to “Lip Sync For Your Lifeboats.”
However essentially the most impressed alternative is making Celine — as unusual as she is gifted — the primary character of a narrative that’s under no circumstances about her.
Outrageously humorous Mindelle performs Celine as an omniscient narrator who, we be taught throughout a Titanic museum tour initially, is definitely 150 years previous and was onboard the ship with our favourite characters. Positive!
She pops in now and again to gloriously upstage all people else.
Mindelle’s efficiency is a sensational, hilarious and deranged flip that rises above a 2 a.m. Las Vegas impression. Sure, in case you are a giant Celine fan like, ahem, a sure tabloid newspaper critic is, you’ll howl on the actress’ borrowed Celine-isms from previous viral YouTube movies and banter from the “A New Day Stay” album. However the efficiency — conversational, sometimes improvised and fairly affectionate — is greater than mockery.
Most impressively, the actress one way or the other recreates Dion’s famous person power in a low-budget present carried out in a basement stuffed with pillars that scent of Ajax. At any time when she comes onstage, the viewers is giddy to see her.
Stage film parodies have been round for years, however what makes “Titanique” work so nicely is the million-dollar elevator pitch — “Titanic” advised by way of Celine songs! — and the expertise of the solid, all of whom are as sturdy of singers as they’re comedians.
Each function is given a brand new spin. Rousouli performs Jack as an aw-shucks dumb hunk, which pairs nicely with Alex Ellis’ agonized Jan Brady-style Rose. John Riddle’s Cal is Billy Zane if Billy Zane went to Fireplace Island, and Ryan Duncan turns Ruth, Rose’s uptight mother, right into a Joan Crawford who’s simply noticed a wire hanger.
All of them made made me smile straight to the tip, which, nicely, didn’t occur in the course of the movie “Titanic.” Director Tye Blue’s staging, kitschy because it should be, can be substantial and oddly grand for a venue that hosted a comedy evening minutes after “Titanique” ended.
What the present might use is one paralyzing musical second, sans humor, that knocks us over. It comes awfully shut with a beautiful full-cast rendition of “The Prayer,” which Dion usually duets with Andrea Bocelli — I even noticed one viewers member clutch his coronary heart throughout it — however then it cuts off abruptly. A second of serenity, right here and there, would make the laughs even greater.
But, as it’s, “Titanique” is the best industrial off-Broadway present. It is aware of who its viewers is — the kind of people that select to take heed to the eight-minute model of “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” after which click on replay — and works exhausting to shamelessly entertain them.
Proper now, the musical performs by way of Sept. 25. However should it sink so quickly?