Six Aspects of Brooklynite That Made Me Absolutely Giddy

It’s here, you guys! The long-awaited Brooklynite - seriously, haven’t we all been hearing about this show for, like, 6ever - finally opened at the Vineyard Theatre last night. It’s a story about a hardware store clerk named Trey who dreams of becoming a Brooklyn-based superhero. The timing of this coincides with Astrolass, the leader of a group of superheros, wanting to hang up the cape and lead a normal existence. Their paths cross! Hi-Jinx ensue! And I had a big-ass smile on my face as the story unfolded. With that, I give you..six elements of the show I feel comfortable talking about in great length because I’m #HereForBrooklynite.

Lady MacGyver in the House! - Lady MacGyver - which by the by, might be my favorite nickname I have ever conjured up on this ol’ rag and bone site - is how I lovingly refer to Donyale Werle, whom designed the perfect set of perfection for Peter and the Starcatcher. It’s been a while since I saw some work come from her corner - Bare: The Musical, a few years ago - but I’m happy she is back and in fine form. From Trey’s hardware store to the city of Brooklyn, Werle’s designs transport the audience to where they need to go. What I love the most is that Trey’s workshop had a whole bunch of homemade gadgets that Werle jerry-rigged with everyday items. When I saw Brooklynite, I was sitting in the second-row and even that close, her sets and props looked…y’know, realistic. Functional even. She’s a crafty one, that Donyale. Leave her a roll of duct tape and paper towels and she’ll have a fleet of NASA spaceships for you in a month’s time.

Nostalgia Amok - I was a total video game and “Saturday Morning Cartoons” nerd growing up, but even amidst kicking Bowser’s ass or watching Pokemon, I would take a moment to point out how much I love a good music score. I even have some video game music on my iPod, no lie…yes, I’m THAT dude. Anyways, Brooklynite, as a whole, is a throwback to 80’s comic books and other nerd paraphernalia, so it’s fitting that Peter Lerman’s music is of a similar reference point. If I closed my eyes, I could see Sonic the Hedgehog dashing along to the Brooklynite score, which only speaks to how spot-frikken-on it is.

No, YOU are Drooling over Andrew Call’s and Gerard Canonico’s Costumes - It would be easy to love the bodies inside these gent’s costumes (and you wouldn’t be wrong - Call is serving up BICEPS for days and Canonico is serving up THIGHS for weeks). I can’t resist, lovely readers…I’d wear either costume un-apologetically. Call’s “El Fuego” character is wearing a motorcycle-inspired vest and cape, complete with these checkerboard meggings that I almost have ordered two or four times in the past. Plus, they are tarted up with fire patches and fiery boots (literally). Full-blown love it all. As if that wasn’t enough, Canonico’s "Kid Comet" costume is straight-up Nascar bold graphics, topped off with…of course…some sparkly short-shorts. Ahhhh, my soft spot. The best part? BroadwayCon is around the corner in a year and I gots some new contenders for cosplays.

Kid Comet Bringing the House Down - Full disclosure, I’ve adored Gerard for years and it was delightful to see him have an honest-to-Audra, show-stopping moment. Early on in the second act, his character is left alone on stage to perform a song-and-dance about being alone vs. having his league of Superhero pals. Not only does he bust-a-move and perform his guts out - seriously Gerard, I have some weddings upcoming this year I could use some tips for - but he SOLD the FUCK out of the number, which could have gone children’s show cheesefest real fast. Instead, it was a head-bopping, light-hearted, whimsical number I could have watched all day. Attaboy G!

Matt Doyle and Nicolette Robinson for the Win - Matt Doyle’s Trey is good, but given Doyle’s pedigree, that is no surprise. What I did respond well to is his chemistry with Nicolette Robinson’s Astrolass, his superhero crush turned kinda-love interest…or something. He has an actor skill where he can conjure up chemistry with anything he sets his mind to - Nicolette, Allison Scagliotti (his kind of love interest in Jasper in Deadland), even that trashcan he just walked past on the street. And Nicolette, in her Off-Broadway debut, is churning out an amazing performance, going from steely-exterior, wounded-interior superhero, to a giggles-and-girly-girl Brooklyn resident…and even a brief detour to sexy BAMFville. Girl knows what she is doing and after her character’s “singing in her head” solo number to set up the story in the beginning, I instantly loved her and took note of the talent she has to spare.

Michael Mayer 4 Prez, 2016 - What more can I say about the guy that brought the impactful Spring Awakening, the mind-blowing American Idiot and the Entertaining-as-Fuck Hedwig all to life? Oh, you know…he kind of nailed it again here. Mayer’s direction does not have a single misstep, as far as I can tell. There is energy and exuberance to be found in his vision and he knew better not to take the shows concepts too seriously. Brooklynite has some polish in tow - most notably, in the swift scene changes, the detailing and the well-rounded ensemble - but Brooklynite is effective because it appeals to the inner-childs of its audience.

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

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