Review: 'Triassic Parq' is fun dino dance party

Associated Press Published: June 27, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Pre-history would sound very different if dinosaurs could tell their own stories. Especially if they were raucously singing and dancing while dealing with identity crises and gender morphing and sudden doubts about the belief system that has always ruled their lives.

A troupe of leaping, singing dinosaurs are the true rock stars of the deeply funny "Triassic Parq, The Musical," which opened Wednesday night for a limited run off-Broadway at The SoHo Playhouse.

This hilarious, raunchy satire, with witty book and lyrics by "Destiny," (Marshall Pailet, Bryce Norbitz and Stephen Wargo), is loosely based on details from the 1990 book "Jurassic Park" by Michael Crichton, which became a successful 1993 sci-fi thriller movie of the same name, directed by Steven Spielberg. There was no singing or dancing in either of those works. But to avoid confusing the lawyers, the musical's added slogan is "The Q Stands For Truth."

Pailet's direction is swift and sure, working with inventive choreography by Kyle Mullins and musical direction by Zak Sandler (Pianosaurus). The whole cast is terrific and energetic, colorfully costumed and prowling around the spooky, tropical-themed set while "Morgan Freeman" and/or "Samuel L. Jackson" alternately narrate (a commandingly arch portrayal by Lee Seymour.)

On an island off Costa Rica, dinosaurs live behind an electrified fence while being studied by human researchers. The tribe is led by their Pastor, aka Velociraptor of Faith, played with masterly reptilian brio by Wade McCollum. The happy dinos have unwavering faith in Lab, "the laboratory deity" populated by "all its little humans", that provides them daily with goats to eat.

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