Reviewed by Rob Tennant
Embedded deep in my subconscious, apparently, is every SchoolHouse Rock song. I had no idea until the production of SchoolHouse Rock Live! at Salt Lake Community College’s Grand Theatre brought the memories flooding back: Sitting on the floor too close to the TV on a Saturday morning being spoon-fed grammar, math, science, and history along with my Honey Nut Cheerios.
The show offers more than just nostalgia. The songs are actually good, not just hack pieces relying on cheap gimmicks and obvious parody to shoe-horn in a little pedagogy. No, the songs are genuinely toe-tapping and catchy in their own right. Informative, too. I mean, come on, who among us couldn’t use a little grammar refresher in this brave new 140-character-limited world?
It helps that they’re well-performed. Every member of the cast has the pipes and sense of fun to pull off what is little more than a musical review with only the vaguest of nods at plot and segues. They keep the energy up and the show moving along through the show’s twenty-one numbers. You will hear most of your favorites. The majority of the crowd could not resist signing along at least occasionally. “Conjunction Junction” threatened to break out into full-on audience participation. The room was not just populated wistful Gen-Xers, either. Their spawn have apparently been indoctrinated by way of DVD and were fully in the swing.
So head on down, bring the whole family. The kids just might learn something.
School House Rock Live, Grand Theatre at SLCC, 1575 S State, 801-957-3322, Oct 13-24