The Day the Music Died, at the Playground. Despite its winning premise, this mockumentary about the rise and fall of a musical family resembling the Partridges is almost entirely devoid of humor: writers Bob Wood and Conor Lynch apparently fail to see how absurdly dull and unfunny their script is. The only thing that’s even remotely humorous about the show is that it actually soldiers on for an hour after its pandering pop-culture references and juvenile gags about people getting high on powdered nondairy creamer have grown horribly stale.

Part of the problem is that Wood and Lynch haven’t gone far enough with their mythical Pepperidge family, simply recasting the squeaky-clean Partridges as selfish prima donnas and drug-addled miscreants (the David Cassidy character is a half-crazed Brian Wilson-like Svengali). Neither the playwrights nor the actors push the characters to sufficiently grotesque extremes, and as a result the show falls somewhere between melodramatic bore and artless parody.

Either way the production is a total mess. Fox recently aired a hilarious special about the Partridge family and other television clans that featured David Cassidy and Shirley Jones bitching about how Danny Bonaduce refused to shower while the show was being taped. Wood and Lynch must have missed that. Which is no surprise: they also miss the boat entirely in The Day the Music Died.

–Nick Green