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Theater Review: ' Bayside! The Musical!' - A 'Saved By the Bell' Parody

Theater Review: ' Bayside! The Musical!' - A 'Saved By the Bell' Parody

Relive your twisted childhood here!

Being a fan of the cult-classic TV show Saved by the Bell may mean that you once proudly wore acid-washed jeans or ratted your bangs. But now it also means that there’s a reason to come downtown for some off-color, off-off-Broadway theater.

“Bayside! The Musical!” is the latest from Bob and Tobly McSmith’s MediumFace Productions,

creators of other riotous, twisted musicals like the warpedJon Benét Ramsey: Murder Mystery Theater and gloriously saucy Showgirls: The Musical!

This time around, the McSmith’s aim their searing and homo-skewed wits toward the 1989-93 high schooler sitcom that many of us knew as that-show-that-was-on-after-school. Alas, its endearing charms were enduring after all, and the McSmiths have shown us the extent of its comedic possibilities through this zippy musical parody.


The complete cast of characters is here, from the ripped torsos of Zack and Slater (Sam Harvey and John Duff), to cheery/ditsy Kelly and Lisa (Maribeth Theroux and Shamira Clark), to the ever-grating Screech and principal Belding (Justin Cimino and Seth Blum); with special cameos by tough-girl Tori (Amanda Nicholas). And starring in the role made for her, MediumFace’s hilarious muse April Kidwell returns as Jessie Spano -- portrayed on the TV show by Kidwell’s doppelganger Elizabeth Berkely.


As is customary for the McSmith house of bizarro parodies, “Bayside!” serves up the sort of snappy songs, double entendres, and creepy sexuality their known for, plus a bevy of inside jokes for the “Saved” superfans. The musical itself consists of two “episodes” (separated by a welcome cash-bar intermission), one at the school and of course one at the Malibu Sands Beach Club, where the gang spent their summers working and solving life’s many problems.


With “Bayside!,” once again the McSmiths have shown us precisely how their wacky minds work, seeing the whole world as a subject of satire, as viewed through the eyes of horny queer teenagers keen on homoerotic TV shows. Armed with Trapper Keepers and harebrained schemes, Bob and Tobly here have finally set the stage for the “Bayside” clique to reach their full potential for absurdity, this time through song.

“Bayside! The Musical!” ( is produced by MediumFace Productions ( Performances run Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., through December 2013. At Theater80, 80 St. Marks Pl. (at First Avenue), New York. Tickets $25. 

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Kelsy Chauvin