I arrived to the Stand about 10 minutes prior to the performance, and the staff was hustling around in attempt to flawlessly execute the opening show of the highly anticipated “Mock Your World.” After standing in line for approximately 10 minutes, my party was ushered to a table up front and center. During the show, we were in the middle of the action with the occasional cast member taking the seat next to me to recite the chorus to complement a solo or play the loudspeaker in the L train. The food menu at the Strand boasts some delicious treats, such as waffle fries with truffle gravy and Truffle Mac n’ Cheese that I plan to sample upon my return. As soon as we ordered a round of beers, one of the Directors proudly introduced the show, concluding “If you’re a Prude, leave!”
The show opened with a quick entertaining set by the Latrell who found his following on YouTube. He performed a couple skits based on real life news stories and concluded with a rap. One of his stories ridiculed Ben Affleck and other celebrities who are starving themselves (more commonly known as fasting) to simulate the lives of impoverished people and tweeting about their experience. The playful Latrell enunciated that poor people don’t have smart phones. He proceeded to astutely identify their efforts as merely expressions of “White Guilt," useless in alleviating poverty, and encouraged more practical efforts, such as simply donating to UNICEF. After performing his last skit, he enthusiastically introduced the audience to the main event “Mock Your World!”
I had high expectations of the performance after reading past reviews and the background of the truly talented writer and cast. Let me tell you I was not disappointed. Opening with a song to introduce the concept of the show, the cast sang about how they deal with the shortfalls of life by poking fun at them. The following songs, consistent with the message in the introduction song, continued to ridicule every facet of a twenty-something year olds life in New York City. From the “Swass” [Sweaty Ass] on the L-Train to the many nicknames for a female’s genitalia to a horny wife trying to seduce her social media obsessed husband to making out on the Chinatown bus, the lyrics recited were crude and hysterical. The kind of verbiage that makes you slightly uncomfortable when you first hear and comically relieved as soon as you begin to relate to one or more of the parodic recounts of an everyday situation. Then, you will find yourself laughing uncontrollably.
One of my favorite things about the show is that the songs use samples of Broadway musicals and pop references, which includes an entire song written on the premise of Brokeback Mountain and performed using the sample of Wicked’s renowned single “I’m Defying Gravity.” There was even a filmed interlude called “Shave my Twat” using the sample of Chicago’s “All That Jazz.” Other references include but are not limited to Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Lady Gaga.
The show concluded with the performers singing a song about the glass half perspective of a Broadway performer’s life from audition to audition, laden with rejection and uncertainty, by exclaiming they are Broadway’s ho’s Pimp. After the cast cleared the stage, the director graciously thanked the audience for attending the opening night at the Stand. Andrew Bryne, who wrote the music and lyrics and is accredited to Les Miserables, A Class Act, and Triumph of Love, even snuck in unannounced to watch the opening night.
I walked out with still giggling like a little girl, singing-a-long to my favorite songs performed, including “I Shit my pants*,” “Save my ass for last,” and “Brokeback Mountain.”
Mock Your World is a five star show that I urge all New Yorkers to see. The show hosts an all-star cast singing witty lyrics. I would go as far to label it as the local version of “Avenue Q.” It runs at the Stand on 239 3rd Avenue (btw 19th & 20th streets) beginning April 25th every Thursday, except the week of May 13th, at 10PM until June 6th. The performance for the week of May 13th will be on Wednesday, May 15th at 8PM. The director jokingly suggested taking your Mom to early performance. Make sure to buy tickets in advance as this show is sure to sell out.
*Song titles used in this article may not reflect Andrew Bryne’s titles.