Fringe 2018 review: Look past the title of 'Fuckboys' and you’ll find a warm, human story

File this one under “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Between the vulgar title and an unintelligible teaser performance, I wasn’t exactly eager to see F*uckboys: The Musical. But writer/co-director Savannah Pedersen’s show turned out to be a surprisingly tender and tuneful tribute to female friendship.

In this millennial answer to Sex and the City, four 20-something women – Kasea Seabrook, Savannah Pedersen, Meghan Mitchell and Kendall Leamy – hang out at happy hour in a karaoke bar the “smells like cigarettes and broken dreams,” complaining about the pain of dating in 2018, when love poetry has been replaced by eggplant emojis. The plot points are straight out of a Lifetime movie, with one scorned woman finding solace in the bottle (and a bartender, played by Michael Knight) and another unexpectedly expecting; thankfully, the stories don’t always stick to the established tropes.

F*uckboys, which is co-directed and choreographed by Kayla Lopez, maintains a snappy pace while nimbly walking a tonal tightrope between self-aware satire and honest sentiment. Pedersen’s original score is as good as any I’ve heard at Fringe this year, with a couple of big ballads that are Broadway-worthy, and the talented cast’s powerful pipes and palpable chemistry make the songs sing, despite some sound balance issues.

I’m still not really certain what a “fuckboy” is (the title song lumps Shakespeare and Ben Franklin into the definition alongside Criss Angel and Trump) but that misandrist framing device is really just a lurid lure; look past it and you’ll find a warm, human story that will leave you humming.

F*ckboys: The Musical
Infinite Productions, Orlando, FL
18 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes
60 Minutes
Green Venue
Thursday, May 17th 8:45pm
Saturday, May 19th 11:00pm
Tuesday, May 22nd 11:30pm
Thursday, May 24th 9:15pm
Sunday, May 27th 10:45pm

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