Fringe review: The Mall Musical

By Wendy Carson

For anyone who has ever worked retail or in any service industry, here is something to help you continue your dreary existence: Casey Ross Productions’ “Hell’s Fourth Ring: The Mall Musical,” playing at the Firefighter’s Union Hall. With spot-on stereotypical characters portraying the soul-sucking life of a petty wage-earner, playwright Ross (penning her first musical), with help from rock musician Davey Pelsue, has created a hilarious tribute to this woeful existence.

Hell’s Gate Mall is a dreary place, where the only thing worse than working there is getting “terminated.” Can even love survive?

The story is silly but very, very funny and the songs are quite well crafted. The actors are up for all of the zaniness encompassed in their roles. They include Pelsue, Logan Moore, Heather Ownes, Adam Tran, Kait Burch (who also did the choreography), Taylor Cox, David Molloy, and the voice of Zoe Molloy. The show was directed by Ross’s partner, “Fedora Dave” Matthews.

While I must admit that Casey is a personal friend of mine, setting my expectations high, I was still blown away by the overall quality of the show. While some of the costumes and dialogue are painfully cheesy, it adds to the charm of the entire package.

I did wish that one or two of the performers possessed stronger singing voices, but I’m hoping that Ross will flesh this out into a full-length show and can better fill the roles.

In all, this show is a riotously good time and one of those unexpected gems that the Fringe can provide.

John Lyle Belden contributed to this review.

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