Friday, July 12, 2024

Shucked: A kernel of musical theater brilliance is born

Not to be corny, but I can’t resist. But ah shucks, Shucked, the musical, is so shucking fantastic that I must join in the over-the-top comedy ride it has put us on.

Before this musical opened, I had no desire to see it. The ads featured ears of corn and the word Shucked.

Wasn’t Oklahoma! just revived on Broadway? What is a city slicker like me going to find appealing about a musical that takes place in the fictional town of Cobb City. Hay rides and hoedowns just aren’t my thing.

Then the reviews started. They were raves. “The funniest show in years” I remember reading. Then came the Tony Award nominations — it’s up for nine including Best Musical.

Shucks, I had to go. I wanted to see it before it really blew up. I think I waited too long to see The Book of Mormon so I was sort of disappointed as the hype put the show on a pedestal that in reality I don’t think that show achieved.

But even if you don’t like corn or hee-haw, Shucked is still amazing. It is a rapid-fire, slapstick cornucopia of comedic moments and bits — think of Mad Magazine and snappy answers to stupid questions set to music. Then, add a few belting numbers including a show-stopper from Tony nominee Alex Newell and you have a winner.

It’s not high-brow at all. If you expect sophisticated humor at a Sondheim level, you won’t find it here. Think lower – but don’t stoop to the bottom to bathroom humor, it’s a level above that (well, there is that one joke).

But this inventive, hysterical show offers us what we all need right now: a deep and hardy laugh. Book writer Robert Horn should likely win the Tony Award as his humor is on the level of Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Burns & Allen. It’s classical and yet topical. And is a perfect testament that AI won’t be able to do everything.

It’s been 48 hours since I got shucked and I would love to be shucked again. Whether alone or in a group, this is shucking amazing and has a stellar cast that you’d enjoy being shucked by each and every one of them.

Plot wise, it’s not a corn-a-plenty as it’s a simple story of a young woman who goes to the big city to find answers to save her corn fields. But when you have fast-paced jokes coupled with amazing songs, who needs much plot when you have your fill of corn?

Universally an amazing cast, but Tony nominees Newell who belts down the house and Kevin Cahoon with his dry delivery elevate the production.

You’d be shucking crazy if you skipped this corny show.

Tickets and information at

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for and contributes to as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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