The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals and Black Friday by StarKid Review

Valerie Huynh '22

Are you itching for some new musicals to fill the hole left in your heart by Broadway’s absence? Worry not! Popular theatre group StarKid has you covered.

The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals (TGWDLM), takes place in Hatchetfield, an unassuming town that doesn’t seem to have anything particularly unique or sinister. It features the unexpected protagonist Paul, who absolutely despises musicals. Paul has no ambition and works a basic, “9-to-5” office job. His life is represented as boring and uninteresting. However, there’s a twist. One night, a meteor strikes the local theater, completely decimating it. The next morning, Paul notices the sudden trend of random civilians singing and dancing as if they were in a musical. Horrified, Paul must find a way to escape this living musical nightmare.

TGWDLM has a lot of incredible music and choreography. I have repeatedly watched this musical purely for its songs, my personal favorite being the earwormy tune “A Cup of Roasted Coffee”. The casting is incredibly strong, with every actor managing to be very expressive, but so clearly skilled at singing. Jaime Lyn Beatty, the woman who plays Charlotte, has particularly impressive vocals, reaching high notes with ease.

Its sister musical, Black Friday, takes a much more sober approach towards its subject matter. In Hatchetfield, a hot, new toy is becoming the big ticket item for the holiday season. Its name is Tickle-Me Wiggly, and all of Hatchetfield is going insane over this fluffy, green tentacle plushie. People would, quite literally, kill to get their hands on one. But is there something more malicious than just a cute face on this weird, green, and not-so-cute stuffed toy?

The musical features a lot of heart with phenomenal acting, especially from Angela Girratana, who plays Lex Foster — a high school dropout struggling to take care of her neurodivergent sister. The choreography remains amazing throughout the musical, but in my opinion, some of the songs in Black Friday are weaker than in TGWDLM. However, it still is an incredibly amazing musical with an ending that leaves viewers on the edge of their seat wanting more.

A huge plus is that both musicals, and all other StarkKd productions, are free to watch on YouTube. I highly recommend you watch TGWDLM before Black Friday, but both are separate enough for the audience to be able to watch one without the other.