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GRUMPY OLD MEN: The Musical 4410 Bailey Ave, Amherst/O'Connell & Company
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Feb 28, 2024, 12:24
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Through March 10
GRUMPY OLD MEN: The Musical 4110 Bailey Avenue, Amherst/O’Connell & Company

Probably the O’Connell & Company plan for “Grumpy Old Men: The Musical” was to have this movie spinoff open in the middle of one of those awful local winter Februarys.
As you may have noticed looking out the window, that hasn’t happened this year.
In Wabasha, it’s still winter, with all of the stress relievers and stress causers of the season.
So, we meet the people who have stayed behind in a small wintry town and the occasional stranger who moves into town.
Stereotypically, it also has ice fishing.
The show has a complicated backstory of a movie with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and a sequel with a less-distinguished cast and a stage musical from Dan Remmes, Neil Berg and Nick Meglin which was tried and tested and finally turned into this version.
This show has its moments and some strong performances.
It revolves around two aging residents who have been at swords-point since they lost the state football championship in high school, with John Gustafson (Michael Starzynski) at quarterback and Max Goldman (Michael J. Galante) at running back.
Perhaps 60 years later, they are still fighting.
They argue all of the time.
Gustafson and Goldman also start arguing about the woman who moves in across the street from their homes, in the home formerly occupied by their old football coach.
Eventually, it involves an old local scandal involving a woman who was sent out of town to have a baby, who turns out to be the old coach’s daughter, Ariel Truax (Anne DeFazio), who inherited the house.
The two old teammates aren’t noticing another relationship, one much more positive, Jacob Goldman (Christopher Wagner) and Melanie Norton (Sára Kovácsi).
The show is filled with production numbers, some really good, like “Wabasha,” the show’s opening and “Opportunity Knocks.”
There are a couple of smaller numbers, including the arrival of IRS to probe Gustafson, Sandra Snyder (Pamela Rose Mangus) and her minions with “Snyder Comes Along” and Jacob and Melanie with “Parents and Paradise.”
“Grumpy Old Men/b> isn’t O’Connell and Company’s best but it has its moments.

A.W.

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