Reviews

Five: The Parody Musical **1/2

FIVE: The Parody Musical spoofs the Tony winning Broadway musical SIX at Theater 555 on 42nd Street.

By Patrick Christiano

February 20, 2024:  FIVE: The Parody Musical, which spoofs the Tony winning hit Broadway musical Six about the wives of King Henry VIII is ripe with potential. Set on a debate stage in Ronkonkoma, New York, the parody, which opened last night at Theater 555, recounts stories of the women linked to our disgraced 45th President.

Gabi Garcia, Jaime Lyn Beatty, Gabriella Joy Rodriguez, Anyae Anasia, and Hannah Bonnett.

FIVE: The Parody Musical spoofs the Tony winning Broadway musical SIX at Theater 555 on 42nd Street.

By Patrick Christiano

February 20, 2024:  FIVE: The Parody Musical, which spoofs the Tony winning hit Broadway musical Six about the wives of King Henry VIII is ripe with potential. Set on a debate stage in Ronkonkoma, New York, the parody, which opened last night at Theater 555, recounts stories of the women linked to our disgraced 45th President.

The Cast

The former president’s three wives, Ivana, Marla, and Melania are there along with one mistress, Stormy, and his only daughter, Ivanka. The women will fight to be declared the winner of “Who really had it worst” with the former president, like the six wives of Henry the VIII fight for the same distinction in the musical Six. Directed and choreographed by Jen Wineman FIVE is not the wickedly funny romp it might have been. As you enter the theater, there is a banner prominently displayed above the stage that said, “Make America slay again.” This is the first sign that the evening might not live up to my expectations and the performance had not started.

Six is preformed like an imaginary Spice Girls concert in Las Vegas and is an exercise in female empowerment. Five is precisely the opposite. The women in the former president’s life are mocked, not lifted-up.  Sending up the opening of Six the women sing one-by-one at the top of the show, “Divorced! Gave head! Fired.” The writers Shimmy Braun, Moshiel Newman Daphna, and Bill Recce do not limit their satire to Six, instead they find it necessary to make references to GypsyFiddler on the Roof, and Chicago.

Anyae Anasia, Gabriella Joy Rodriguez, Jaime Lyn Beatty, Hannah Bonnett, and Gabi Garcia.

There is little attempt to have the performers look, or sound or like the well-known characters they are portraying, except Ivana’s gigantic blond hair.  At their best, the six performers in Five resemble the game cast of a satirical revue. At their worst, they come off like contestants in a drag-show.

Nor is the parody a takedown of the former president as a would-be tyrant. The jokes about him are decidedly lowbrow making references to golden showers, or the size of his penis or calling him the orange troll. The dull material, however, is served by a game cast of performers, who do their best. Unfortunately, it is a losing effort.

Hannah Bonnett as Ivanka.

The women are played by Anyae Anasia, Jaime Lyn Beatty, Hannah  Bonnett, Gabi Garcia, Gabriella Joy Rodriguez, and biilled as a special guest Jasmine Rice Labeija appears late in the show as Hillary Clinton. She delivers a zany medley of lightly altered Broadway showstoppers. Pronouncing “Rodham” like “Goddamn,” she destroys the competition for the title of our former president’s biggest victim. However, the biggest victim here might be the American theater. 

Five The Parody Musical **1/2
Theater 555
555 W 42nd St New York, NY 10036
EXTENDED to April 21, 2024
Mon and Thurs at 7; Fri at 8, Sat at 5 & 9, and Sun 3
for tickets ($49-$69), visit Five The Musical
Photography: Jeremy Daniel

Jaime Lyn Beatty as Melania.