Credit: Paul Goyette

By the time Nicky Mendelsohn steps into his follow spot as Stephen, a
socially inept teenage vegan, the drama kids of Lovely Valley Performing
Arts Magnet High School are already in trouble. Having moved rehearsal to a
wilderness area for their upcoming production of a musical based on Lord of the Flies, they’re already settling into the delirious
state of nature William Golding wrote his book to interrogate. Hungry and
rowdy, a detachment leaves Stephen behind to forage alone while they hunt
for meat. Suddenly, as Mendelsohn’s falsetto extols nature’s glories in
song . . . well, it’s hard to describe what happens next, because it
involves a raccoon, a deer, and a wild boar, all played by hand-operated
puppets. Suffice it to say that this Pride Films and Plays production, with
book and lyrics by Larry Todd Cousineau and music by Cindy O’Connor, is a
giddy frolic of a musical comedy with equal doses of frame-breaking
irreverence and warmed-over cliche.

The standout is Pigtails (Missy Wise), the play’s substitute for Piggy, a
meek and humble boy in Golding’s book. Whereas Piggy has his brains
splattered onto a rock, Pigtails assures us in an early aside that no one
will die here. The lowered stakes only ensure a more hilarious
disproportion between act and feeling, light comedy’s formulaic stock and
trade. This entire cast’s singing is remarkable, they have such marvelous
comedic timing all around that you wish their jokes had been a little less
obviously written. Michael Driscoll directs.   v