‘Friends! The Musical Parody’ show open in Las Vegas

What began as an attempt to pen the unofficial 11th season of “Friends” morphed into the theatrical equivalent of Rachel’s Thanksgiving trifle. Pretty much everything was thrown into the mix — “Custard, good! Jam, good! Meat, good!” — whether it went together or not.

“We basically took all of the classic, iconic storylines of the 10 seasons and then squashed them into an hour-and-a-half show,” says Paul Stancato, who directed “Friends! The Musical Parody” off-Broadway and is helming the local production that opens Friday at the D Las Vegas.

“For me, it was really about being able to put together a show that the most die-hard ‘Friends’ fans could appreciate,” he says. “And the person that never saw the show before, they can still come in and get a story and learn about these characters and fall in love with them.”

As the name implies, the show leans into its music, something “Friends” never cared that much about aside from the hand-clappy theme song, the occasional Phoebe tune — “Smelly Cat,” “Sticky Shoes,” etc. — and that time Chandler, Ross and Monica went to a Hootie concert and the latter made out with a Blowfish.

Written by Bob and Tobly McSmith, who’ve created musical parodies of 1990s pop-culture touchstones including “Showgirls,” “Saved by the Bell, “Full House” and “Beverly Hills, 90210,” the show features songs such as “The Ballad of Fat Monica,” “We Were on a Break!” and “Oh. My. God. It’s Janice!”

Something obviously clicked with audiences who saw “Friends! The Musical Parody” during its run at St. Luke’s Theatre in Manhattan. Originally scheduled to last just two months at the end of 2017, the loving spoof was extended twice before closing July 22 after 230 performances.

“I was always very familiar with the show, and I was very excited to hear that it was coming to the D, my home casino,” says Jerod Perez, who portrays Chandler. And by home casino, he doesn’t mean a casino in his hometown. Perez already appears in “Marriage Can Be Murder” in the D showroom. “I come in, I do one, I get out of Sal the Maitre D’ and I get straight into Chandler, and we go on right after ‘Marriage Can Be Murder,’ ” he says. “It’s gonna be fun. I’m living the actor’s life.”

Casey Weems, who performed locally in “Evil Dead: The Musical,” pursued the role of Phoebe the way Brooke Shields’ delusional Erika Ford once went after Joey’s Dr. Drake Ramoray.

“The very first thing I did, even before I got cast, I started watching the show from the very beginning and trying to mirror her vocal pattern, trying to mirror her physicality,” she says of the often ditzy character. “She does a lot with her hands. She has a lot of nose crinkles and little hair tosses and that kind of thing. And then I had to learn to play guitar.”

In bringing Phoebe to the stage, Weems keyed in on one particular expression. “My favorite thing she does is her ‘Ohs.’ She gets, like, super excited. ‘Oh! Oh! Oh!’ ”

Perez already saw a lot of himself in Chandler. “We always go for the joke. No matter what situation, we will always, always, 100 percent of the time go for the joke.”

Those jokes range from the universal to the carefully crafted deep cuts and Easter eggs geared toward the “Friends” fanatics who can tell you that Chandler’s father’s all-male Las Vegas burlesque show was named “Viva Las Gaygas”; that Joey once had an imaginary friend, a space cowboy named Maurice; or that, despite Rachel’s insistence, Chandler never, ever worked as a transponster.

“I can’t tell you how many times people just shout the lines out before the actors can even say them,” Stancato says.

In the Season 2 episode “The One Where Ross Finds Out,” the once lovestruck Ross listens to an answering machine message, left by Rachel after she drank too much wine, in which she informs him that she’s over him.

“He’ll say, ‘You’re over me?’ And then everyone, ‘When were you under me!’ And then the actor says it. And we’re, like, ‘Wow, that’s the die-hards. They know that. They know this show.’ ”

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence @reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

Entertainment
You Can Design With 3D Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum
You Can Design With 3d Printers, Laser Cutters And Ceramics At Discovery Children's Museum (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Champagne vending machine at Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas
One of only a few in the country, the Moët & Chandon machine at the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas is stocked with Imperial Rose for Valentine’s Day. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas Valentine’s Day desserts
Mio Ogasawara of Sweets Raku and Rebecca Bills of Gen3 Hospitality in Las Vegas create elaborate Valentine’s Day desserts. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
One Night For One Drop
Cirque du Soleil cast and crew donate their time and talent to this year's "One Night For One Drop" performance at the "O" Theatre in the Bellagio. The event takes place March 8, 2019, and benefits the One Drop organization. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year parade takes place on Fremont Street. (Bill Hughes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Manzo restaurant a key part of Eataly
Nicole Brisson, executive chef of Eataly, at Park MGM in Las Vegas, talks about new restaurant.
Designer Makes Festival-style Crowns
Designer at MAGIC trade show Makes Festival-style Crowns (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excalibur Raises tent that will house "Fuerza Bruta" show
Workers at Excalibur raised a tent, which will be the home of "Fuerza Bruta," a temporary show that will run from March 7 to September 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Roc Boots Make For Glittery Festival Wear
With 3-inch-tall chunky heels, cleated platforms, and sparkly glitter, you’ll want to wear these to dance the night away. Sally Cull, product and development for Roc Boots Australia, assures you that you can. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get A Custom-painted Jacket At Las Vegas Fashion Event
On the first of the two-night Commotion event, clothing brands connected with consumers, offering shopping, giveaways and customization opportunities. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian Celebrates The "Year Of The Pig"
The Venetian hosted dancers to celebrate the Chinese New Year and "Year of the Pig." The dancers performed a traditional eye-dotting ceremony and lion dance. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pepe the truffle-hunting dog
Jose Andres knows that quality black truffles can also be found in his native Spain. He’ll be sharing some with the world for a week, starting Monday. From Feb. 11-17, his Cosmopolitan restaurant Jaleo will be showcasing four special dishes made with Spanish truffles discovered by the truffle-hunting dogs of his friend Nacho Ramírez Monfort. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tony Abou-Ganim mixes drink at Libertine Social
Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, helped change the cocktail culture in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masaharu Morimoto talks ramen in Las Vegas
Masaharu Morimoto talks about bringing a ramen restaurant to Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morimoto considering full-time Las Vegas ramen spot
Morimoto talks about a full-time ramen spot in Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new home at Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is working it's way to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to Neon Museum Boneyard
The famous and newly restored, Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has been moved to its permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign moves to new Las Vegas home
The famous and newly restored Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign has moved to a permanent home at the Neon Museum Boneyard in downtown Las Vegas. It will be moved in six pieces and take five days for reconstruction. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas band Otherwise release song and video in tribute to slain cousin
Adrian and Ryan Patrick, brothers in the band Otherwise with drummer Brian Medeiros, talk about the release of a tribute song to their deceased cousin Ivan. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Dream of AJ Montgomery
AJ Montgomery lost part of his leg in a vehicle accident but found his dream as a performer in “Le Reve.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly Clinton-Holmes of the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes chats with Kelly Clinton-Holmes, director of the Stirling Club's New Year's Eve entertainment.
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like