American Psycho The Musical on Broadway
American Psycho The Musical opened its preview at Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway this week following the sold-out run in London. Playwright by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and music and lyrics by Grammy and Tony-winning musician and composer Duncan Sheik, the musical is adapted from the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. The story revolves around the life of the 26-year-old serial killer and businessman Patrick Bateman (Benjamin Walker) living at the end of the century in Manhattan. However successful in his Wall Street career and in life, the all-perfect and well-rounded Patrick Bateman had a deep psychopathic ego that he “never wanted to make anyone happy.”
The musical opened with bright flashlight piercing through a thick smog on the stage when a black human shadow appeared in between the thunder. A loud scream echoed as the name of the play American Psycho was projected onto the smog. As the smog cleared away, we see the main character, Patrick Bateman, starting his day with a morning routine of a thorough and precise skin care, a set of expensive suit and an upscale lifestyle. The chic manhattan businessman runs a successful investment firm called Pierce and Pierce on Wall Street. Bateman’s intention of killing urged when he became jealous of his coworker, Paul Owen, who surpassed him at work and had a more polished business card. Paul Owen became one of the victims killed in torturous and brutal ways as Bateman could hardly repress his urge of killing. The script and the plot of the play was humorous yet not lacking a sense of horror and menace.
The stage was mechanically run with two round turning floor that instantly roll props to the back and change the setting of the stage. Walls can rise and drop to conjoin, bringing the setting into scenes of a club, a restaurant, a beach, and even the heaven. Projection technique was often used in the scene to portray illusion and distortion of Bateman’s mind. I especially enjoyed the clear plastic wall dropped down to block blood from splashing onto the audience during the killing scenes. Red blood splashed to maximize the level of violence yet the audiences are all clean.
Cast of the play was nearly perfect with Benjamin Walker as Patrick Bateman, the 6 feet tall white male with a muscular tanned body, successfully landing his future on Wall Street. Walker’s low eyebrow bone emphasize a cold-blooded and cunning personality through his eyes. Alice Ripley to be Mrs. Bateman truly defines the materialistic and elegant manhattan female who longs for love, luxury and marriage.
Bateman and other male casts’ suits had a longer and more straight fit cutting, a typical ’90s approach on business wear. Female cast mostly wore elegant slim dresses to portray the typical materialistic and chic manhattan women, especially during the musical “You Are What You Wear,” in which the lyrics is composed of luxury wear brand names. Though as horrifying as the play can be, the music was very enjoyable. The incorporation of the ’80s anthems such as Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight” and the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” audiences feel a flashback to the old times.
Click here to visit the official site of American Psycho.