I See London, I See France (The Underwear Musical)
nytheatre.com review by Amy Lerner
September 19, 2007
With a fun, bouncy score, cute girls, and a hunky actor who spends almost two hours in his underwear, I See London, I See France (The Underwear Musical) has it all. The show follows Gina, an advertising executive. When Gina discovers that her boyfriend has run away with her hot secretary on her 35th birthday, she begins to break down.
In order to get Gina out of her sexless funk, her boss, Cuda, assigns her to design an underwear ad campaign around sexy underwear model Kenny. The only problem is that Gina, a self-proclaimed "smart girl," dumped by her boyfriend for her vapid hottie secretary, falls head over heels in lust with equally vapid Kenny. What follows is a hilarious, clever romp through Gina's journey to self-discovery.
The cast as a whole is terrific. Sandy Rustin is very likable and charming as Gina; even when the character is depressed Rustin, doesn't fall into the actor's trap of being mopey and unlikable, and keeps Gina strong.
Also a standout is David Rossmer as a temp serving as Gina's secretary. His hilarious dialogue is well served by his equally excellent delivery and deliciously over-the-top character.
Nicolas Ardell as Kenny is terrific in his ability to find the delight of intellectual discovery. He doesn't play down to the stupidity of his character, but revels in the fun of it. Plus, let's face it, he is very nice to look at.
The book and score, written by Vid Guerrerio (book and lyrics) and Jeremy Desmon (music and lyrics) are extremely well done, to the point that I could see the show having a professional run in its current state. The score is appropriately fun and clever, and the opening number "More Sex" provides the perfect introduction to the show. Most of the numbers are silly, but also with a bit to say about current standards for women. Highlights are "Impulsive," where Rustin truly gets a chance to show her spunk; and one of the most hilarious romantic ballads I've heard, "Fluffy Rain" (you have to see it to understand).
The set design by Dustin O'Neill is wonderfully creative, especially for a festival where production value is one of the more difficult aspects. Images are projected onto the set to convey various locations, and even add small humorous touches. The show is well directed by Jeremy Dobrish, keeping at a nice pace and allowing the actors to have a ton of fun onstage.
All in all, I See London, I See France (The Underwear Musical) is a nice treat in the theatre. With fun, vivacious performances and a clever book and score, this new musical is not to be missed.