If you were a child of the 90’s, or even a twenty something that used to lay around on lazy weekend mornings watching the boob tube there is more than a fart’s chance in a wind tunnel that you used to watch Saved By The Bell. It was the perfect mindless junk TV show. The plots were ridiculous as if a fifth grader wrote the scripts. Many gals had a crush on Zack and Slater. Many guys used to fantasize about Kelly and Jessie. We laughed at the exaggerated awkwardness of Screech. We wondered why Lisa was even part of the show. Mr Belding was the cool principal we wish we had. It never seemed as if any teachers even worked at Bayside High. In fact, were there really any other students who attended this high school? The crew hung out in the hallways by their lockers more than they ever went to class. Sounds like my kind of school! Damn, I wish I went to Bayside instead of the dreary suburban hellhole of a learning institution I got stuck with. My high school resembled a prison. At least we got to live vicariously through our friends at Bayside every weekend, and then in reruns forever!
Now, here we are 20 years later still reminiscing about this series, it can still be found in reruns on TV, and some of the original cast are acting on new series and entertainment shows. Screech made porn tapes. Jessie made a career killing stripper movie. Lisa did something to her face that makes her unrecognizable and not in a good way. Mr Belding has disappeared. Good thing that Bayside! The Musical! has come around to help us relive those wonderful years of the 90’s with a show so twisted and evil that it makes you wish the original series was more like this! Now playing at Theatre 80 on St Marks Place in NYC you can join in and become an honorary classmate. Beware the front row pill splash zone!
Zack is still a cool dude that can stop time and talk to the audience during a pivitol scene. Kelly is still his love interest but also a slutty cheerleader that sleeps with anyone and anything, especially the creepy college dude. Slater is now obviously fighting his own sexuality and homoerotic fantasies. Screech is still annoyingly geeky and also a clueless weirdo horndog. Jessie is a caffeine pill popping addict. Lisa is, well, the same and we wonder why she’s here. Mr Belding is still a clueless principal that pops in to offer guidance that usually gets dismissed by the kids anyway. Bayside! The Musical! is a bizarro world Saved By The Bell and it’s an amazingly funny trip down memory lane. If we were on acid! A bit dirty and raunchy in that it takes these characters we know and love and ruins our view of them forever. In fact, it kind of improves on them. If this version of the show were on TV today it would air on Showtime or Netflix, have a huge following, and garner a boatload of awards! Sex sells baby!
As far as the actual storyline goes here it follows some of the original show’s most known episodes, and mashes them up to over the top humorous effect. As always, the kids have to solve a problem in a half hour show (how to save their hangout The Max), along with impediments along the way, and come out with a happy ending. With the raunch factor thrown in a “happy ending” sounds about right! There are even visits from past characters such as Tori Spelling who was on a few episodes as Screech’s nerdy love interest, and Tori Scott who was the leather jacket clad voice of reason for around ten episodes and another romantic interest of Zack. Tori Tori Tori! I have to say that whenever her character appears on the stage, as embodied by Seth Blum, who is also Mr Belding, he almost steals the show with his outrageous portrayal of this person. There were some points that you can even notice the other cast members holding back laughter. The audience was howling with laughs pretty much the whole show. Some of the scenes brought back memories. Some of the crazy songs had us in stiches. Trapper Keeper, All Girls Slumber Party, Wrestle U, and so many other songs were hilarious. The whole cast is endearing, talented, funny, and can sing. Sam Harvey, Katie Mebane, John Duff, Adriana Spencer, Justin Cimino, Shamira Clark, Amanda Nicholas, and the live band all kill it on stage. You kind of want to hang out with them, in their Bayside personas of course. Kelly – call me!
Bayside! The Musical! is a campy raunchfest that should not be missed if you like your comedy a bit on the filthy side, and love 90’s brainless TV. Long live Bayside forever!
Bayside! The Musical! – http://baysidethemusical.com/
(Photo credits – all photos courtesy of Bayside! The Musical!)