MCL’s Blackfish the Musical wastes no time in immersing its audience in all the cheesiness and delusion of a bustling amusement park. When guests enter the lobby, they are greeted by a Sea Universe’s star attraction, CumCum the killer whale, who speaks like a surfer and poses for pictures. You read correctly, his name is CumCum. And believe me, the show likes to sprinkle “CumCum” in whenever they can for a laugh. For example, the food court sells CumCum’s Creamy Clusters! The programs resemble park brochures and feature a disclaimer that states “In the unlikely event that you are dragged into the tank and dismembered by one of our performers, you are prohibited from selling your story to Magnolia Pictures, The Lifetime Network, or any other bullshit entertainment outlets.”
The show’s opening number of introductions spoofs the Sea World shows perfectly. As head trainer Cybil Bass, Natalie Carneal nails the faux enthusiasm and manic energy of theme park employees. “He’s not a killer, he’s a lover!” she insists right before going into a backbend and crabwalking across the stage. There are several other fun characters, including former head trainer/Brony/clopper Trent (Dylan Guzman), moneyhungry park CEO Alison Hamster (Mo PhillipsSpotts), drugslinging, unqualified vet Jerome (Cole Headrick) and new employee Jesse (Terrance Lamonte Rogers, Jr.), who hasn’t had a taste of the Sea Universe KoolAid just yet.
A dangerous incident causes Cybil to sober up and realize that CumCum deserves to be free, and the second act becomes a race to the tank as one side wants to free the whale and the other side wants to make sure the cash cow stays captive. I won’t reveal who comes out on top, but I will say prepare for some awesome raps from the ensemble, a conversion to Scientology because Sea Universe is a cult, and a dance break that I apparently loved so much that the only thing I could say in my notes was “DANCE BREAK HOLY SHIT.”
Blackfish the Musical will run every Saturday at 7:30 til April 9th. Tickets are $11, with all proceeds going to a marine wildlife conservation charity, including Orca Network. For more info, check out the show’s page here.