POP! at Yale Rep
Don’t take that as a dig at POP! though. Yale Rep has mounted the world premiere of a rollicking musical about Andy Warhol, and it is Warhol who extolled Nothing.
The strength of musical theater, as of the operetta it derives from, is rarely the plot. Oh, there have been exceptions, but POP! isn’t one of them, and if that’s going to spoil your fun, stay home and read a mystery. POP! is an As you know, Bob, that consists of character sketches—and I do mean character—of a handful of the Factory regulars back in 1968. In structure, it is reminiscent of Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile (maybe it should have been called Who Shot Andy Rabbit?).
The play unfolds—no, it exfoliates—in one long act (1:40). The sets and staging are at the same brilliant level we’ve come to expect from Yale Rep. Casting, acting, and singing were all superb. I especially appreciated the sound work, as I heard every lyric clearly, something I no longer expect but want to applaud when I get it.
The action—er, exposition—takes place on June 3, 1968. Bonus points and a discount blog subscription to the first commenter who names two other events, both fictional, memorialized in songs centered on June 3.