Viewers under 17 should have been accompanied by an adult or guardian to TCNJ Musical Theatre (TMT)’s “Rated R” Cabaret Night on Friday.
“If you think we won’t go there, we will,” announced Brian Michalowski, senior music education major, as he kicked off an evening of musical selections that shined a spotlight on the lewd and the crude.
The men of TMT opened the show with “A Tribute to America,” an energizing version of “America, Fuck Yeah” from the motion picture “Team America: World Police.”
The film is the brainchild of “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and its theme song was the perfect choice to set the tone and shock the audience into realizing that no group would escape the show unscathed.
Dan Keyser, senior English major, and Vinny Scafuto, senior communication studies major, performed two songs and garnered the night’s biggest laughs.
First up was their rendition of “Fuck Her Gently” from Jack Black’s rock outfit, Tenacious D.
Keyser’s delicate delivery of lyrics like “I’m gonna hump you sweetly” backed by Scafuto’s gentle, harmonizing hum left the audience roaring.
Keyser and Scafuto’s second offering was “Special Fred,” a version of Stephen Lynch’s “Special Ed,” a song about a guy whose “mama dropped him on his head.”
With a vacant gaze and wearing only one sock, Keyser embodied Special Ed with flawless comedic timing, pairing the perfect spectacle with Scafuto’s singing.
Shelley Snyder, sophomore interactive multimedia major, added a refreshing touch of originality to the show with her acoustic slice of self-deprecation titled “Nerd Girl.”
Snyder’s song about a geeky girl looking to get laid directly addressed men, assuring them that nerdy girls have much to offer. Snyder even suggests that she will talk dirty.
“I don’t think Klingon sounds that sleazy,” Snyder sang.
Although the emphasis of Cabaret Night was on the comically outrageous, several more solemn songs were also featured in the lineup, including “A Miracle Would Happen” from the musical “The Last Five Years,” sung by Jerry Tower, junior history major.
The song, about a newlywed struggling to defy temptation as a “pair of breasts walks by,” fit the night’s theme in a more subtle way than the other songs. Tower excelled at evoking the character’s inward battle while never losing the essence of the “Rated R” theme.
“I shouldn’t care what she thinks since I can’t fuck her anyway,” Tower sang.
Cabaret Night came to a close with the men and women of Musical Theatre strutting their stuff in two separate group performances.
In an unexpected burst of a cappella, the men sang “A Big Surprise” by a cappella group Da Vinci’s Notebook. The “well-hung” men shared their cure for when life gets them down.
“I look at my enormous penis,” they crooned.
Decked out in red and black and bits of lingerie, the ladies of Musical Theatre assured the audience that “he had it coming” with their version of the “Cell Block Tango” from the musical “Chicago.”
Laura Hargreaves, senior English major and the show’s producer, said the Cell Block ladies only learned their choreography two days before the first performance.
“We had one less week of production than we usually have, but everyone worked so hard,” Hargreaves said.
“We had mishaps, but everything managed to come together. It went really well,” she said.