Last year’s fringe hit Taxidermy: The Musical didn’t leave much room for a sequel: Central character Herbie, remember, ended up stuffed and mounted. But precocious teen collaborators Devon Gillingham and Conor Wielgosz are nothing if not fiendishly inventive, and have contrived a way to bring Herbie (Gillingham) back to life via lightning strike while his fellow taxidermist Rusty (Wielgosz), once an aspiring Broadway star, is suffering under the oppressive yoke of parenthood alongside Herbie’s ex Melanie (Carly Berthon). When Rusty discovers the secret diary of his dead homophobic dad (Arthur Holroyd), he and the reanimated Herbie go on a mission to resuscitate pops.
Again, Gillingham and Wielgosz have composed solid, catchy tunes and the pair’s manic energy onstage carries us through content that is often scatological. One can forgive the pair’s sophomore effort for being sophomoric, especially given their stated dues to South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. But these guys have too much talent to offer to continue working under the dubious assumption that gay sex and incontinent seniors are inherently funny. Their show is still wildly entertaining. One hopes their next effort ventures further into mature content that isn’t quite so immature.
— Randall King