From the crew that brought Abbott: The Musical to the Fringe last year comes Scientology: The Musical. This year, George Glass is taking a voyage into the murky world of Scientology.
Scientology: The Musical follows the journey of a young naive convert named George as he progresses through his Scientology journey, from his very first free personality test at the ubiquitous Life Improvement Centre, to his admission to the SEA Organisation, right up until he reaches the rarefied level of Operating Thetan. This is higher than even Tom Cruise.
The show takes aim at the science fiction origins of Scientology, the coercive and manipulative techniques used in recruitment, its dubious status as a recognised religion, and makes sneaky fun of Scientology's litigious reputation.
The songs are very clever and stuffed with references that are funny if you know a bit about Scientology. Or, as much as can be known about it. This is not to say that you won't enjoy the show if you know little to nothing about Scientology, but you will definitely enjoy it more if you have an interest.
The narrative was a little jumpy and at times was hard to follow. This was compensated for by a cast that was enthusiastic and really committed to their parts. Special mention has to go to Susan Munt, an earnest true believer in the mystical tenets of Scientology, who hasn't lost touch with her womanly sexuality. I wasn't a big fan of young George. As funny as men playing women can be, when I see a man playing a woman, I just think, why not make that a female part? Gender criticism aside, the cast have great chemistry and bounce off each other really well. The show is also well produced and makes great use of lighting and special effects.