Adapting Nick Hornby’s cult Gen-X book (and the Hollywood film starring John Cusack and Jack Black) into a Broadway musical — a medium itself that the beloved music snobs at Championship Vinyl would surely revile — is a daring proposition. After all, High Fidelity is not some heartwarming tale of a scrappy kid who earns a shot at the big time; record-store owner Rob Gordon is an apathetic lothario whose heroism, if any, is his steadfast dedication to the path of least resistance. While there’s an inevitable temptation to sacrifice the essence of such darker works for, say, a snappy ditty and a good dance number, Amanda Green’s lyrics seem to come right out of Hornby’s novel, and the show proudly embraces its slacker sensibility. (”I’ve had the best, now I need a rest,” sings Marie, Rob’s one-night stand. ”Just someone who’ll do, and I’m ready to settle for you.”) Will Chase shines as Rob, and choreographer Christopher Gattelli’s ingenious representations of slo-mo and instant replay score some of the evening’s biggest laughs. While Tom Kitt’s eclectic music occasionally overwhelms the vocals and — NERD ALERT — Rob’s attempt at the Kevin Bacon Game is unforgivably beatable, High Fidelity is the unique show that charms both your college drinking buddy and your mother. (Tickets: Telecharge.com or 212-239-6200)
(High Fidelity: Joan Marcus)
Posted December 13 2006 — 12:00 AM EST
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