I love the idea of a musical based on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit; the stage and Dick Wolf equivalent to Joss Whedon’s “Once More With Feeling.” The challenge with Tara Thorne’s musical Law & Order: Musical Victims Unit is that there are few people in the cast who are strong enough actors and singers to make it a strong musical pastiche of the television show.
I find Allison Saunders (whose bio states that she is “not an actor or a musician”) quite captivating to watch on stage. She has a unique presence and often channels shades of Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson as the musical’s equivalent Katherine Murphy. Yet, despite two songs about it, Saunders’ sexual tension with Willie Stratton, who plays the Elliott Stabler role, pales dramatically in comparison to her chemistry with Kim Harris’ ADA Gretchen McGrath. There is much silliness from Matthew Hornell, Steve Cutler and Cheryl Hann in the supporting roles and a fun cameo from Tanya Davis.
I would love to see this concept take the leap from pure gimmick to pastiche, perhaps with the help of some more experienced musical theatre artists, but in the meantime, Law & Order: Musical Victims Unit is a bit of a bumpy ride, but with some genuinely likeable moments and a lot of theatrical joy that made me smile.
Law & Order: Musical Victims Unit plays at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (1723 Hollis Street) at the following times:
Wed Sep 4 10:10pm
Thu Sep 5 9:40pm
Tickets are $10.00 and are available in advance online at this website or 30 minutes before each show at the venue on the day of the performance. All tickets bought in person must be purchased with either cash or credit. For more information please visit this website or call 902.422.7604 between 10:00am and 5:00pm.