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'High Fidelity' Makes Top 5 Musicals

'High Fidelity' Makes Top 5 Musicals

On Saturday, Audrey and I caught an afternoon matinée of High Fidelity, a musical version of the Nick Hornby book that was turned into a movie with John Cusack.

This musical version preserves key plot points from the original (music aficionado Rob, who makes top-5 lists throughout the show, loses girlfriend Laura and tries to come to terms with his life while friends Barry, Dick and Liz offer advice and tough love), while broadening the irony and losing the heavier parts. It’s become something like a light sitcom episode of the same story.

High Fidelity‘s sets are amazing. They rotate, swivel, slide and recombine to form 5+ great locations: Rob’s Brooklyn apartment, a new age-y apartment, a rainy street corner, and Rob’s record store. Along with the saturated lighting, the sets make High Fidelity a very good-looking show. (Continued after the jump)

Like The Wedding Singer and Spamalot, among others, High Fidelity takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the musical styles it features. I’d heard a few sample tracks recorded from when the musical was still in workshop, but hadn’t thought them anything special. However, performed on stage and accompanied by the live band, and witty choreography, the songs were great, albeit liberally sprinkled with obscenities.

The cast, especially the lead (Will Chase) and the actress who plays Liz (Rachel Stern), seems very well-prepared and seemed to really go all out in their performances, singing the gamut from pop and rock to folksy indie girl acoustic and heavy metal usually to great effect. The fun with musical genres works especially well in one hilarious scene depicting Rob’s rap and hip-hop fantasy revenge sequence.

Adding to the broad strokes of humor are the show’s quirky supporting characters—Barry (Jay Klaitz)—the Jack Black character in the movie, wistful Dick (Christian Anderson), spacey interventionist Ian, a chorus of Rob’s ex-girlfriends and a group of record store hangers-on. Along with the appealing leads, fascinating sets and fun music, they land High Fidelity on my top 5 list of new musicals to see this year.


Will Chase stars as “Rob,” in the Broadway musical High Fidelity.

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Posted to: Broadway, Reviews

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  • Lil

    I’ve been wondering about this show. Thanks, I’m going to check it out the next time I’m in the city.

  • tom

    Wow! Sounds great! I’ll check this show out next time I’m gay.


  • John

    Saw it on Tuesday. It wasn’t bad but the second act could have used a bit of tightening up. Most of the cast were excellent. Too bad the producers decided that day to close the show the Sunday before Christmas. They should have workshopped it a bit longer before bringing it to one of the largest theaters in the city.

    BTW, if this was one of your top five then you should try to get out more. Little Dog Laughed, Evil Dead, Grey Gardens, Jacques Brel, Sweeney Todd and the Les Mis revival all creamed this one. Still, it would have done moderately well in a smaller theater.