Spend Yours Kids Inheritance is a tough one.
To be blunt while there was much I enjoyed about the show, ultimately the production never connected with me. It took awhile for me to figure out why this was; considering there was so much to like about it.
Firstly, the cast is wonderful. Fringe is so often seen as a young’uns game, so to see such a vibrant cast of talented seniors was beautiful. Their talent is undeniable and they all did a great job of conveying the show with brilliant quips and lively pep. It’s just a shame that I feel like they are let down by a lackluster script and often repetitive music.
My biggest issue comes down to tone. Coming into this show I was expecting a big and exciting comedy. After the first song, my favourite moment of the show was where the daughter character proclaims she is “too busy to sing”. I loved this because I love a self-aware musical. As someone who grew up on the Muppets and Monty Python, I was so excited because this style of humour is the style I enjoy most. My problem was, this is the only moment of self aware comedy in the entire first act. This character seems to be the only one who ever plays with fourth wall breaks which makes the earnest tone of most of the rest of the show harder to connect with. The entire show fractures into half-hearted sub plots, many of which never go anywhere despite the immense promise that they have. The romance subplot especially could have been it’s own show entirely.
I feel like this is three plays in one. Part one is the life in the retirement home. The second part is the escape from the retirement home and a chase across country. The third is an all too convenient ending that feels hollow and failed to resonate with me.
I can handle a convenient ending as most musicals have them. But where other musicals have dynamic and interesting music, this one has tired and simple melodies that don’t get stuck in your head so much as they grate up against it. Simple music is fine, but ultimately, music diversity would go a long way to enhance the production in a beautiful way.
As it stands, despite the absolutely lovely performers, I failed to connect with it. Maybe seeing Every Silver Lining has spoiled every other show at Fringe for me by setting the bar impossibly high. As it stands I do think this show has wonderful performers, and with a tweaked script and some more interesting layers in the music, this could be an amazing package.