Post tagged with


‘Saved By the Bell’ Send-Up Is So ’90s, and So Much Fun

bayside1Courtesy “Bayside! The Unmusical!” The students of Bayside, with Mr. B.

It’s not every musical that has even the house band cracking up, but last night at a packed Kraine Theater, “Bayside! The Unmusical!” did just that with its raunchy, irreverent send-up of “Saved by the Bell.”

The zippy one-hour production – back after an earlier run in May – starts by reintroducing the archetypes of the early-90s sit-com: Zack Morris (JD Scalzo) is the naïve “cool guy” in acid-wash jeans who thinks his ditzy cheerleader girlfriend, Kelly (Caitlin Claessens), is a virgin even though a giant, er, “zit” on her stomach keeps her from going to homecoming. Slater (Israel Viñas) is the “greasy, sexy stud-muffin” who just wants to be respected: “I want to go to collage someday,” he mispronounces. Lisa (Shamira Clark) is the bubbly token black girl who does nothing but shop and gossip while fending off Screech, the nerd who, appropriately enough, is played by lanky comedienne Rachel Witz. And Jessie, well, she’s another story entirely.

The stereotypes quickly come undone like a defective Trapper Keeper: for all its Disney Channel-esque cheeriness and its “uncomfortably Christian creator” (per “Bayside’s” program), “Saved by the Bell” is the show whose cast members went on to get naked in “Showgirls” (Elizabeth Berkley) as well as in an honest-to-goodness porno (Dustin Diamond). “Bayside” revels in that, via an almost Benny Hill-like parade of slapstick hormones and homoeroticism: the kids need to raise an “unreasonable” amount of money (a whole $500!) to save their favorite diner, The Max, and their ideas range from gay prostitution to stripping to pornography. Read more…