Review: Full House The Musical! (Starvox Entertainment and Redwood Entertainment)


Full House The Musical! starring Perez Hilton is playing at Toronto’s Randolph Theatre

Ok, so here goes. Full House The Musical! currently running at The Randolph Theatre in Toronto, Ontario has been skewered in the press. I now see why. But I want to make something very clear; these actors are doing one hell of a job with a very imperfect script.

The writers, Bob and Tobly McSmith both admitted to reading said reviews during the post-show Q&A. No doubt, it has to hurt for them to read, but when you think about it, the joke is on us. Their show got produced and Toronto is just the first stop. This baby is heading to NYC next week.

These guys also have another decently long running and equally cringe-worthy show that just closed in NYC called Bayside The Musical based on the hit TV show “Saved By The Bell“. I have a feeling these guys have a bit of a cult following.

The jokes are definitely raunchy, the misogyny runs rampant, and the sometimes juvenile humour hits you over the head like a hammer, yet people seemed to be enjoying it. There were times when I found myself smiling, but mostly because I was extremely embarrassed by what I was listening to. I swear, at times, I thought I was listening to the conversation of pre-teen boys at summer camp.

But there is something more important for me to mention here. Something that has been grossly overlooked so far: the actors. This is a talented group of comedic actors who can sing, dance and deliver a terrible punchline and still keep a straight face. There is no doubt these guys are capable of so much more with a much better script.

Oh, did I mention Perez Hilton is the lead as Danny Tanner, the patriarch of the house? Right. He wasn’t as horrible as I thought he might be. In fact, he surprised me. He did ok. It wasn’t an overly inspired performance but he did his job. If only he could keep up with the choreography.

The three sisters, DJ, Stephanie and The Olsen Twins were like bright lights up on that stage. Marshall Louise who plays the twins with minimal dialogue, was hard not to watch.  She was cute as a button and a talented supporting actor. She knew when to give and when to get, never stepping on toes. Marguerite Halcovage was fantastic as Stephanie Tanner, playing the many different sides of crazy that were written into her character and Amanda Nicholas was the perfectly crazed DJ Tanner with completely unwarranted body issues.

The two actors who stood out the most for me were Bridget Russell Kennedy as Rebecca Donaldson who eventually marries Uncle Jesse, played by John Duff. These guys had some killer pipes and awesome dance moves. In my opinion, they were the quintessential musical theatre actors and they were on fire. Anything they did just seemed a step above.

Then there was Seth Blum, who played Joey Gladstone and various other characters. I was most endeared to him because I favor character actors who have an arsenal of tricks up their sleeve and who aren’t afraid to go all the way and take risks.

Here’s the thing. I didn’t like this show. I think it needs more work. I felt like I watched an overpriced fringe show stuck in it’s first draft. It’s ok to be silly and make ridiculous jokes, but the concept as a whole has to be funny for that to work and I just felt it fell flat in that department.

I won’t fault you for seeing this show. Heck, the bad reviews have probably piqued your curiosity. At least you’re supporting the actors, musicians, technicians and creative team members who are stuck in this unpolished show.  They deserve to get paid for a little while and that requires an audience. So at least we know we’re all doing a good thing in that regard. Even if we had to suffer through it a little bit.


Photo provided by the company