"Waist Watchers, The Musical"

Missy McArdle, Katie Angell Thomas, Jeanne Bennett, Shelley Keelor in "Waist Watchers, The Musical." (Tina Valant / August 2, 2013)

No, "Waist Watchers, the Musical” at the Plaza Theatre in Manalapan isn’t Kurt Weill. Nor should it be.

The super-light, estrogen-soaked fare that gently prods women and their battles with aging, weight, dieting, exercise and men, manages to pull off something rather tricky: an audience-pleasing rouser that is virtually critic-proof.

It’s that populist appeal in a hoity-toity world, like having your mother’s meatloaf served in a four-star French restaurant. Hey buddy, that’s my mom, so your review will start off with, “I loved it. Capish?”

Each member of the fab-foursome cast — Missy McArdle, Katie Angell Thomas, Jeanne Bennett, Shelley Keelor — takes a swing at parodies of famous songs and knocks them out of the theater. (I’m going by the roar of laughter from the audience, populated primarily by women.)


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ABBA’s disco classic “Dancing Queen” becomes “Botox Queen.”  

“If I Were a Rich Man,” the signature song from “Fiddler on the Roof,” morphs into “If I Were a Size Two.”

“Maria” from “West Side Story” mutates into “Viagra.”

Patsy Cline's "Crazy” slips into “Lazy”

For 90 minutes with no intermission, they work it out, their energy never lagging. Written by Plaza Theatre producer Alan Jacobson and directed by Andy Rogow the musical sticks to the formula set forth by the gal-pal-parody-show “Menopause, The Musical” where conflict is resolved – poof – just like that before the rousing finale anthem.

It’s just enough, you know: filling without that stuffed feeling.

“Waist Watchers, the Musical” runs through Sept. 1 at the Plaza Theatre, 262 S. Ocean Blvd., in Manalapan. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, with 2 p.m. matinees Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $45. Call 561-588-1820 or go to ThePlazaTheatre.net.