Betty Boop was the most famous star in the world. She sang and acted and captivated audiences wherever she went. But her world was not the real world. It was the black and white animated world of America's jazz age. Bored with her life of celebrity and unsure of her identity, Betty borrows her grandfather's invention to transport herself to the "real world" She finds herself at a New York City Comic-Con in 2023, surrounded by a culture of escapism. Soon, she befriends bright teenager Trisha and her stepbrother Dwayne, who help her to understand her new surroundings.
Boop originally appeared in a series of shorts created by legendary cartoonist Max Fleischer.
Nearly a century later, a production team of Bob Martin (script), David Foster (music), Susan Birkenhead (lyrics), and Jerry Mitchell (director / choreographer) brought Betty's story to the stage. "Boop! The Musical" premiered at Chicago's CIBC Theatre Sunday night before a sold-out audience, where it will run until Christmas Eve before heading to Broadway. I was fortunate to attend the world premiere event.
Jasmine Amy Rogers excels as the energetic Betty and newcomer Angelica Hale steals scene after scene as young Trisha.
Foster is best known for his work as a producer and arranger for popular musical artists, but he has penned hits for Chicago, Kenny Loggins, Whitney Houston, and others. His first attempt at writing a Broadway musical is wildly successful.
Characters in the animated world act with the exaggerated body language of cartoons. The scenes between Betty and her new friends are touching and believable, despite the implausible storyline.
The audience laughed and cheered their approval throughout the show.
"Boop! The Musical" is a fun-filled fantasy for all the senses.