On THE ROAD TO QATAR…Better Hold the HAMburger!

| February 11, 2011 | Comments (1)

Music and laughter as a bridge to world peace and understanding  may sound trite and cute, but after 90 minutes of fun and side-splitting antics, as the curtain goes down on the rollicking production  of “The Road to Qatar” now playing at the York Theatre, you may just think such miracles are possible.

A musical about a musical, Road to Qatar follows the Bing Crosby-Bob Hope formula that made their Road movies  so popular – simple, outrageous fun brought to life  by master comedians.

The plot line is simple and, incredible as it seems, true.  Two New York City show biz guys – both Jews, I might add, and that qualifier is integral to the story – receive short emails from the Middle East: “We want you write musical…How much?”

A couple of song and  dance numbers later we find the duo – in real life they are Stephen Cole and David Krane – putting the finishing touches on “Aspire”, a  lavish musical set in Qatar that incorporates just about everything under the sun from camels to hip-hop. Their hosts are hospitable but exigeant. Words like “hamburger” (that contains “ham”!) and “a la mode” (the name of Allah CANNOT be mentioned!) are expunged from the lyrics, driving the composers to distraction. But, predictably and frantically, everything gets resolved and on opening night a glittering production materializes to the great satisfaction of all parties,  especially the Emir who has commissioned the work since he holds the check book!

The Road to Qatar is executed on a shoe-string  with a five-piece orchestra and five actors on stage and a very minimal set. But such spareness does not in the least detract from the fun and talent that the production has in spades. Special mention should be made of Sarah Stiles ( playing Nazirah) and Bruce Warren (playing Claudio and Farid). They are both comic geniuses and we hope to see them again soon.

If the February Blues are getting you down and you can’t afford a pricey getaway to Saint Barts, Road to Qatar is just the ticket for a splash of sunshine to chase away the winter blahs!

It’s all taking place at the York Theatre in the CitiCorp Building beneath Saint Peter’s Church on East 54th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues. Y’all get yourselves over there, ya hear!

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Comments (1)

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  1. Stephen Cole says:

    Thanks so much Sam. The show gets a wonderful audience reaction and that is exactly why we wrote it. I appreciate your astute review.

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