How good it is to return to Shmygadun! (Although it is now called "Mikago").
The Apple TV+ series about a couple who finds themselves in a mystical place where every day is a musical was great when it premiered in 2021 and featured perfect parodies of classic musicals like The Music Man and The Sound of Music. and of course Brigadoon. With a happy ending and an upbeat soundtrack, it looks like The Snitch, starring Keegan-Michael Key, Cecily Strong and a host of Broadway veterans, has come to an end. But musical theater is about much more than entertaining stories from the 50s.
Taking inspiration from the darker, sexier shows of the 1960s and 1970s (think Chicago, Sweeney Todd and Pippin), Five creators Paul and Ken Daurio found something else to take on this exciting genre. The result is "Shmigadoon!" Season 2 (airs Wednesday, ★★★½ out of four), an even better novel with better music and a cheeky, absurd tone that makes the show silly enough to be serious.
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In the first season, Key and Strong played a couple struggling with stagnation and dysfunction. Now Josh (Key) and Melissa (Strong) are married and starting a new life together. However, their failed attempts to start a family have failed them both, and in desperation Josh suggests they try to find Smigado for another trip.
They cross the bridge into a magical musical land, but it's not Kansas anymore. It's the glamorous, bustling, mixed city of Chicago, where the police work unscrupulously and hotels charge by the hour. The couple had to prove their true love to get out of Shmygadon, but to get out of Shmygag, they had to write a happy ending for each other.
However, as Melissa helpfully points out , '70s musicals usually didn't have happy endings. Example: Josh is promptly arrested for a murder he didn't commit, and Melissa becomes the object of love for an evil criminal who runs the town.
Season 1 Synopsis: Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong are music stars you never knew existed.
As Melissa and Josh search for happiness among nightclub dancers, hippies and starving orphans, they encounter the same people they saw in Slytherin in different roles. For example, the mayor of Slygadoon, Alan Cumming, is now a butcher and a drunkard, like Sweeney Todd. Other new cast members include Dove Cameron, Kristin Chenoweth, Aaron Tveit, Jane Krakowski, Jamie Camille, Titus Burgess, Ariana DeBose and Martin Short.
The new season is a real treat for musical theater lovers. There are homages to famous songs like "Mein Herr" from "Cabaret" and "Corner of Sky" from "Pippin" that are precise and poignant enough to impress Broadway fans. wrapped in laughter The songs of the first season were fun, but often forgettable; The Season 2 numbers are rumors that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
Some of the very specific references that make up Schmicago's big meatloaf might leave off-Broadway audiences a little cold. History is mixed because the era of the legendary 1960s and 70s bands from the 1800s to the 1920s and 1970s is the summer of self-love, with hippies interspersed with jazz-age poppers and Victorian sweethearts. But like the complex plots of many great musicals, the show often makes up for the plot's flaws.
Josh and Melissa may not get their happy ending in Smikagoon, but hopefully that won't stop them from going to Smikagoon a third time! Audiences deserve 80s and 90s music parodies from this lineup and their creators.
Imagine Kay wearing a Phantom of the Opera mask. The scoundrels write themselves.
'Shiggle!': Cecily Strong's play (lovingly) retells the golden age musical 'The Problem'
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Review: 'Schmigadoon' is all jazz, then something about 'Chicago' in Season 2.