Theater Review: "WaistWatchers: The Musical"

Ben Miles

Subsequent to a 40 week national tour and prior to an Off Broadway staging, “WaistWatchers: The Musical,” has arrived at Huntington Beach’s Library Theatre and is continuing through August 6. It’s a daffy musical comedy in the vein of the amusingly melodic “Menopause the Musical,” and meant for anyone who has an ear for top-forty hits or show tunes, with cleverly substituted lyrics thematically unified through our oh so common struggles against weight gain; the search for easy, but effective diets; exhausting, will power-challenging exercise regimes; and last ditch surgical interventions – all in the name of girth control and the mitigation of body size expansion.

But with bits about Viagra and references to orgastic titillation, “WaistWatchers” is a decidedly (and somewhat surprisingly) adult-centered conceit. Joyfully directed by Matt Silva, with energetic choreography by Dani Tucci-Juraga, the show is anchored by the enthusiastic commitment of five performers – Krissy Johnson as Cheryl, the disgruntled housewife; Robin Lounsbury as Connie, a love-starved lady in search of satisfaction, be it gastronomical or otherwise anatomical; Stephanie Genovese, as the always hungry-hearted Cindy; Kiley L. McDonald as the sexy, sassy aerobics maven and gym owner, Carla; and the versatile comedienne, Meagan Michelson, in various supporting parts.

The concept for “WaistWatchers” was developed by Alan Jacobson, who also created the book and lyrics. The music is composed by Vince Dimura, with much of it borrowed from compositions such as The Village People’s “YMCA” and the Barbara Streisand classic, “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” There’s also a ditty titled “Viagra” sung to the tune of “Westside Story’s” “Maria” and the old folksong “If I Had a Hammer” has been transformed to “If I Had a Bagel.”

The show supposedly unfolds in a women’s gym, on a credibility designed set (by Andrew Thompson). The costume design accurately represents the workout attire worn by fitness aspirants – and the props (constructed by Erin Penney), such as oversized silver spoons and a giant carton of Chunky Monkey ice cream, are enough to make a hungry person want to dig in.

“WaistWatchers” is neither Shakespeare nor Sondheim. Nevertheless, it is a fun way to indulge our appetite for mindless entertainment and to spit-up some chuckles.

Where: Huntington Beach Library Theatre, 7111 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach

When: Thursdays at 2 and 7 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m.

How: Call (855) 448-7469 or visit


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