If a bathroom is a outstanding aspect of a present’s set, relaxation assured it is going to be used.
And so it’s in the new cheerleading musical, “We Are the Tigers.” Since the present is about youngsters, the rest room motion entails drunken vomiting. And since it’s a horror comedy, the upchucking is adopted by a brutal homicide.
For a few of us, the mixture of cheerleaders, soar scares and songs makes for a tantalizing combine. After all, highschool boosting has lengthy been a staple of horror movies, from “Cheerleader Camp” to “Jennifer’s Body.” And the exercise was entertainingly staged in “Lysistrata Jones” and “Bring It On: The Musical,” which performed Broadway in 2011 and 2012.
Unfortunately, Preston Max Allen’s meandering present is a textbook instance of find out how to squander a promising idea. There is nearly no cheering and never practically sufficient slashing; on the different hand, there may be an abundance of exposition, usually completed through samey-sounding tunes that echo one another. (The play’s East Village venue, Theater 80 St Marks, as soon as hosted “Silence! The Musical,” a fantastically humorous spoof of “The Silence of the Lambs,” which proved that music, horror and comedy could be mixed right into a profitable bundle.)
Most of the first act consists of an prolonged introduction to the Giles Corey High cheerleaders as they put together for their conventional annual sleepover, hosted by the bold, brittle captain, Riley (Lauren Zakrin).
The youngsters are all out of central casting, cheer division. They embody the heavy-drinking Farrah (Zoe Jensen) and the Vicodin-popping Chess (Celeste Rose), whose ambition to turn out to be an Olympian gymnast was derailed by an harm. There’s Chess’s greatest good friend, Kate (Jenny Rose Baker) — you possibly can inform she’s rebellious as a result of she is acerbic and wears a flannel shirt tied round her waist. Annleigh (Kaitlyn Frank) is a religious Christian who has been holding out on her boyfriend of six years (Louis Griffin). Reese (MiMi Scardulla) is the mascot determined to affix the crew.
As for Eva Sanchez (Sydney Parra), first seen delivering a pizza, she is an excellent cheerleader at a rival faculty and the just one to get a final title — which is a faster option to point out her background than endowing her with a persona or again story.
After prolonged numbers outlining not very tangled knots of ambition, resentment and feuds — when you’ve got additionally seen “Clueless, the Musical,” you might start wishing you were back at that hapless show — a mysterious foe sets out on the girls with a sharp blade.
For no plausible reason whatsoever, Riley’s bestie, Cairo (Wonu Ogunfowora), argues against calling the police, and the team’s newest member, Mattie (the very funny Cathy Ang, last seen in “KPOP”), is subsequently scapegoated straight into an orange jumpsuit.
Every once in a while, Mr. Allen, who wrote the book and score, suggests the satire that could have been, as when Riley earnestly laments, “I just wanted to cheer, and people died.” Or when Mattie sweetly says, “Sorry, Mom and Dad, prison has hardened me” after letting out an expletive.
But the show can never quite figure out what it wants to say, or how, and the sluggish pace is hampered by Michael Bello’s slack direction. The scenic designer Ann Beyersdorfer’s idea of a basement girl-cave is unnecessarily outlandish — complete with a decked-out kitchen that is never used — and actually prevents efficient blocking.
The show’s most notable positive is that the cast of 10 features nine women. Most of them deserve to move on to brighter projects.