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New York International Fringe Festival
SUV: The Musical
Supersized car culture gets a takedown, crash test dummies and all, in this song-and-dance joyride.

By Karen Hudes

If it's true, as one environmentally conscious character asserts, that no one's ever written a love song about an economy car, then that goes double for the ubiquitous, pernicious Sports Utility Vehicle. This entertaining musical by Gersh Kuntzman and Marc Dinkin is out to change all that. Beginning with the opening scene inside Behemoth Motor CompanyŚmaker of the Deforester, the Defiler and the soon-to-be-unveiled Destroyer, the cast rhapsodizes about the soccer-mom monstrosity with songs like "Bigger is Better" and a wowing set piece "The New Model," sensationally choreographed by Katie Workum. As activist Max Blank fights to expose Behemoth while falling in love, post-collision, with the owner's wife, the story also makes room for a rebellious daughter, a shady sheik and a touching subplot of unrequited love between crash test dummies (who act as the stage crew). Yes, "SUV" grows bulky as its namesake by the end. But with some quicker pacing and a finer edge (the song "How Did Your Oil Get Under Our Sand?" is begging for a riff on the Bush-Saud connection), this satirical baby could be a real clean-burning machine.

 SUV: The Musical
By Gersh Kuntzman and Marc Dinkin
The Village Theatre
Sat, Aug 13 at 12:00 p.m.; Mon, Aug 15 at 07:45 p.m.; Fri, Aug 19 at 04:00 p.m.; Wed, Aug 24 at 10:30 p.m.; Sat, Aug 27 at 08:15 p.m.

Published on August 8, 2005 as a web exclusive.

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