There is a certain kind of madness going on at Trap Door Theatre right now and it has an appealing go-big-or-go-home quality to it. But this satirical musical by Julien Nitzberg and Roger Neill never lifts off into the comedic stratosphere its aiming for. A mash-up of Gilbert & Sullivan, Mel Brooks and Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s “Team America,” the piece is a faux opera that isn’t quite scabrous enough about American foreign and domestic woes to nail the sweet spot. A series of connected sketches, the characters aren’t developed so much as plunked down before you as if that’s enough. It’s not—especially with a two-plus-hour running time. Nitzberg’s lyrics are witty (a pair of drug-addled sisters sing, “Lunch we skip with Ritalin, then for dinner Mescaline”), and Neill’s score is bouncy and easy on the ears (his TV credits include “King of the Hill” and “The Simple Life”). But the show doesn’t go far enough to offend. This type of thing should shock you into laugher, it’s so out there. Under Kevin Remington’s direction, only Stephen Lydic really pushes it. He plays the president as a manic Eddie Munster, and yes, it’s over-the-top. But boy, it works. (Nina Metz)
At Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland, (773)384-0494. This prodcution is now closed.