Gemma @ 'The Office! A Musical Parody' - “Steve Carell would approve!”
What’s it about?
The Office! A Musical Parody, is a musical parody (duh) based on the beloved American adaptation of the popular British TV show, The Office. And if you haven’t seen the U.S. version of this TV show, start binge-watching NOW. Thank me later.
The Office happens to be one of my favorite TV shows of all time. Admittedly, I discovered it late in life, sometime in 2017. But once I committed to watching it, I was hooked and I’ve re-watched the entire series multiple times since.
Here's how extra I am when it comes to The Office:
I was Drunk Pam Beesly at the Dundies for Halloween last year (👀 my white Keds).
I awarded myself a Dundie (Whitest Sneakers, of course).
I have a Dunder Mifflin pop-socket on the back of my cell phone.
I own a teapot like the one Jim gave Pam for Christmas 💗
I even had custom-made Jim and Pam Funko POP figurines created.
I’m about as devoted a fan of The Office as a person can get. So, when I heard a musical parody on a TV show that I consider in many ways to be my show was coming out, it was an inevitability that I would be seeing it, sooner rather than later. As it turned out, I scored a ticket for opening night!
At a recent apartment-warming party for one of my friends from high school, Evan, I was informed that Ani, a girl we had also gone to high school with, was playing Kelly in the show. I couldn’t believe it. What were the odds? I was pretty sure the last time I had seen her was high school graduation, which was over six years ago (jeez).
The night of the show, I excitedly donned my The Office themed leggings and made my way to the theatre. I was really hoping that I’d have a chance to see Ani after the show. But, I have to say, it was still kind of surreal to see her headshot and name listed in the program. Weren’t we just teenagers like a second ago? And now, here she was, strutting her stuff on an Off-Broadway stage. Wild.
It was a full house consisting of people in their mid-to-late twenties (like me), tweens (many of whom were wearing Dunder Mifflin T-shirts), and people who looked middle-aged that I assumed were parents of the younger people. It was opening night, after all. It made sense for family to be in attendance. I received more compliments on my leggings before the show’s opening number than I could keep track of, which, not gonna lie, was a good feeling.
The pre-show soundtrack was spot-on. I immediately recognized songs like Islands In the Stream and Forever, which naturally conjured up the corresponding scenes from the TV show in my head (Jim’s BBQ karaoke sesh with Michael and Jim and Pam’s wedding).
Michael Scott was played by a woman, but I knew this going in, if only for the ridiculous controversy this casting decision caused on the interwebs. I didn’t understand why people were angry. This was a musical parody. It was not supposed to be an exact recreation of the TV show. It was its own separate thing. Who cared what gender a performer was? Especially when the performer in question (Sarah Mackenzie Baron) routinely had me in stitches with her version of Michael Scott. She had some pretty large shoes to fill, and I truly felt like she got Michael Scott perfectly while also being a kick-ass singer. Steve Carrell would approve.
I will say that this show was made for fans who have watched the TV show. If someone were to see the show with only a vague understanding of the show’s premise or plot, they would not get everything out of it they should, but they would still probably have a great time.
Every character you would have wanted to be represented on stage was. Every joke you would have wanted to be in the show was. Every reference you would have wanted to be made was. Believe me, as hardcore a fan as I am, I was expecting to be at least mildly disappointed by some aspects of the show. But I wasn’t. If anything I was disappointed when the show ended because I was enjoying myself so much and I wasn’t one of the lucky people selected for a backstage tour.
When I exited the theatre, who did I see but Ani?! She was surrounded by adoring fans who were handing her flowers and asking for pictures with her. I just watched with such overwhelming pride. I even managed to snag a picture with her myself. And I got to say, in all honesty, that I knew her when.
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.