I’m a bit late to the party, but I just had to write about this! Plus I get to use my ‘Best Things On The Internet’ category which I don’t often do!
For those who haven’t heard of Spies Are Forever, it’s a musical from the Tin Can Bros, which is an online sketch group made up of Joey Richter, Corey Lubowich and Brian Rosenthal from Team Starkid. So essentially, this can be considered a spin-off Starkid musical. Spies Are Forever also features music from TalkFine, who has also worked with Starkid, and it stars the TCB, Curt Mega, Lauren Lopez, Joe Walker, Mary Kate Wiles, Tessa Netting and a new guy named Al Fallick. It was all funded via kickstarter, which is pretty cool.
Anyways, it’s about spies and it’s got music and I’m always down to watch anything a Starkid member puts out, so this was great. Obviously, I couldn’t go see it live earlier this year because I live in Canada and it was only showing in LA, but Starkid knows what’s up and they know to put things on YouTube for us far away folk, so everyone can enjoy their work after it’s been live. Plus, the Tin Can Bros‘ work is mostly all YouTube anyways, so it was perfect. Spies Are Forever was put up one part at a time for a few weeks but I waited until it was all up to see it…and then some because I forgot to check.
Overall, it was a great show, especially for the group’s first attempt at a full length musical. I know all of them have been in shows before but participating is different than organizing.
The first thing that really stood out to me was Mary Kate Wiles’ voice. I’ve been familiar with her work since her role as Lydia Bennet in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but I’ve never heard her sing. She has a really nice voice, and I was impressed at her ability, as well as several other of the cast members’, to sing while doing an accent.
In terms of the music, it was great. There were several catchy songs, as well as several that really had charm and humour, and several that really fit with the theme of spies in the sense that they were cool and slightly retro. I also think they’re all lucky that so many words rhyme with “spy”. Everyone’s singing abilities were top notch, but I feel like the dancing wasn’t anything outstanding.
I loved the characters. Curt Mega played a character named Curt Mega (a little silly, but it’s a decent spy name so…forgiven) who was just a really slick, cool, classic spy. But it was neat to see this guy’s other sides like when he was interacting with his mother. Lauren Lopez played Cynthia Houston, and she was the best. I’ve always loved Lauren’s characters, so this is just another to add to the list, but Cynthia was just great. Definitely the funniest of them all. Mary Kate Wiles had a very Black Widow vibe with her red hair and Russian assassin role, but I appreciated it. Joey Richter’s best character was the bomb salesman with the nephew, as I loved that song he sang. While Tessa Netting’s character was a little clichéd, she played it well, and Barb was really likeable overall. The only character I wasn’t 100% sold on was Brian Rosenthal’s Baron Von Nazi. He wasn’t very scary considering the role and the puppet thing was really odd. But there wasn’t a character I really hated, so that was good. And lastly, without giving too much away, the big reveal about a certain character was a really predictable, but considering the theme of spies, it was alright and almost expected. They did it well.
Another thing I loved was the way they set up the casino in one scene. The way they set up the stage so the audience could see the cast but still imagine that they’re sitting around a card table was really cool. Little things like that impressed me.
Spies Are Forever is a funny and clever musical that any fans of Starkid, spies or musicals need to see. If you liked Kingsmen and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. but thought they needed some fun tunes, then you’ll love this! It’s all on YouTube, so here’s the playlist! I don’t know if there will be a part 2 to this show, but I hope there is, because it really is a treat to watch!