Rites of Secession

When the red states won on Election Day 2004, many people in the country were devastated. Some were particularly unhappy about George W. Bush getting a second term. Others mourned the defeat of John Kerry. Massachusetts natives Nathan Phillips and Joe Schiappa turned their grief into Massholia, a sprawling and unfocused rock musical now playing at the Flamboyan Theater. A gimmicky prologue is set at the first Thanksgiving. This meeting between settlers and Indians is filled with the usual intentionally anachronistic speech and pop culture references that comedians love to put in "old-timey" scenes. The prologue foreshadows the nation's troubles with the settlers' assassination of a benevolent Magical Turkey that lives in the woods. (Even then, we couldn't recognize a good thing when it was right in front of us!)

Cut to Boston on Nov. 3, 2004. Reactionaries have prompted Massachusetts to secede from the union to form Massholia, a new country run by John Kerry. His son, John Kerry Jr., has plans to take over the nation through deadly cranberry gas concealed in a baseball. Junior recruits high school student and "typical Masshole" Robbie Cordeiro to throw the poison baseball at a Red Sox game. Robbie sees this as a chance to show the world his dancing skills, and to impress Jen Leonard, the new girl in school.

Yes, there are many plots, many characters, and many, many scenes in the show. They vastly outnumber the music numbers, which is odd for a musical. It's also a shame, because Brett Warwick's songs range from good to outright catchy and are far superior to those in several Broadway shows one could name. Katie Workum's energetic choreography

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