Last week, I reviewed the first musical by StarKid Productions, A Very Potter Musical. The second production by the group is called Me and My Dick and it’s a coming-of-age, high school love story in which everyone’s genitals are anthropormophized, walking around and having conversations with their owners. If you couldn’t guess by the title, it’s a very dirty, R-rated musical full of innuendos and sex jokes
For some reason, this didn’t appeal appeal to my wife… I can’t imagine why…
But she’s out of town for the weekend, so I decided to give it a watch on my own. Like AVPM, this is a musical with a tremendous playtime, running more than two hours. I watched it in two sittings. I’m pleased to say that it not only lives up to the promise of AVPM but vastly overshadows it. On almost every level, MAMD is a huge improvement over AVPM and I highly recommend it to anyone with an open mind and an appetite for smutty humor.
Three quick caveats about MAMD. First is, yeah, this would be a hard R if it was a movie. There’s no nudity but there’s plenty of what I’m sure the MPAA would call “simulated sex acts.” And the script is exceedingly vulgar, with plenty of F-bombs and basically every possible euphemism for a penis (and a penis’s several functions).
Second caveat: The cast is excellent, but not quite as much of a home run as AVPM‘s cast. Joey Richter and Jaime Lyn Beatty are much better used here as the leads than they were as Ron and Ginny in AVPM. But there are no show-stealers quite like Dylan Saunders as Dumbledore or Lauren Lopez as Draco Malfoy.
Third and biggest caveat: The tone here is a little different than what I expected. It’s a bit more earnest (with flights of surreal comic fantasy in the second act) than AVPM, which has an overwhelming giddy charm. There’s no built-in affection for source material here and nothing quite as magical as “Goin’ Back to Hogwarts.”
Ultimately, though, MAMD is one of my favorite musicals I’ve seen. The premise of pet-like private parts attached to their humans by a leash sounds bizarre, but the movie lays it out very well and makes brilliant use of the conceit. There’s so much creativity and cleverness in the writing and the technical aspects of pulling off the strange premise.
It’s not a strict parody of a single property the way that AVPM is (and most of the later Starkid shows are), but it’s deeply indebted to coming of age comedy movies, with tips of the hat to several other genres throughout the runtime.
Starkid’s first show proved the troupe can write funny jokes and sing catchy songs, but their second effort is where they really show that they can tell a complete, engaging story. My biggest complaint with AVPM was that the second act, while amusing, failed to bring most of its plots or running jokes anywhere satisfying. MAMD completely corrects this problem; the second act takes the premise to its fantastical extremes. I don’t want to spoil it, but the sheer imagination required to conceive some of the settings and plot twists in this musical is impressive.
There’s even a cohesive theme about trusting your instincts running through the story, and some fantastic writing that cleverly defies the expectations of the “gotta-get-laid” comedy genre. And the love story is marvelously executed: Even though the couple gets together, and you know it’s going to happen, the conflict and tension steadily build through the play.
The quality of the music is very consistent (even if the recording is still frustrating non-professional; get some nice mics, guys!). Whereas about half of the songs in AVPM sounded amateurish and the other half sounded like truly professional songwriting, the songs of MAMD fall almost entirey into the latter. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that the music is basically Broadway-caliber.
Specific highlights include “Ready to Go,” which efficiently introduces most of the play’s characters with a soaring melody, the bring-down-the-house number “Land of the Dicks,” and the moving/rousing/hilarious “Finale.” But, as I said, the soundtrack’s so consistent, you could basically pick any song as a highlight.
There are a bunch of other things I want to praise — e.g. the choreography is excellent, and I’m always a sucker for the “in-love-with-a-best-friend” trope — but I probably ought to stop here before I get too carried away. This has me excited to watch future Starkid musicals, and if I feel so inclined, I will keep reporting back here. (I know at least Brian will read it.)