Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

When Pigs Fly 

The whole thing is fun for exactly one act. Unfortunately, there are two.

Wednesday, Jul 2 2003
The best part of When Pigs Fly -- a deliberately goofy, gayer-than-thou musical that did well off-Broadway in 1996 -- comes when the shrill, tall birdbrain of a guidance counselor, Miss Roundhole, spins offstage in an ecstasy of petty rage. She holds a sign bearing our hero Howard's list of possible career choices; "costume designer" is not on it. (Howard is a suffering gay child in the Midwest who goes on to become something like Howard Crabtree, the costume designer who really did write the show.) In a cheap stage illusion, Miss Roundhole's gloved hands hold the edges of the sign, while her tall-wigged body (she's played by Daniel Howard) twirls. The sign reaches to Daniel Howard's neck, so it looks as if Miss Roundhole's head has come unhinged. Most of the show is like that: cheap illusion, gay jokes, plus big song-and-dance numbers that don't always work. When Pigs Fly is a musical-within-a-musical about Howard trying to make his costume-designer dreams come true in spite of Miss Roundhole's shrill prediction that he'll succeed in the theater "when pigs fly." (Sample lyric: "Brother, you ain't seen a thing/ Till you see bacon takin' wing.") So it's hard to tell how much is a joke and how much is simply bad. Trauma Flintstone does well in his more outrageous costumes -- a mermaid, a Queen of Diamonds, a nursing pig -- and Jeff Manabat sings a hilarious torch song about Dick Cheney, flirting with his girlish eyes and tossing a frilly red boa. The whole thing is fun for exactly one act. Unfortunately, there are two. -- Michael Scott Moore


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"