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The Office: A Musical Parody

**WARNING** This review contains spoilers for The Office

It+may+not+be+Scranton+but+it+is+still+%22The+Office%22
It may not be Scranton but it is still

It may not be Scranton but it is still "The Office"

Photo by PJ Osheske

Photo by PJ Osheske

It may not be Scranton but it is still "The Office"

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Surprisingly enough; yes, this is a real thing. The Office: A Musical Parody is an Off-Broadway show currently playing in the Jerry Orbach Theater, located in The Theater Center on 50th street and Broadway in New York City. The show, created by Tobly & Bob McSmith, started performances September 20th.

It stars Sarah Mackenzie Baron as the “World’s Best Boss” Michael Scott, Michael Santora as Dwight Schrute, Tom McGovern as Jim and Andy, Taylor Coriell as Pam and Erin, Katie Johantgen as Angela & others, Rebecca Mason-Wygal as Phyllis, Meredith, & Others; Ani Djirdjirian as Kelly & Others, and Kevin Bruce Harris as Stanley.

The show utilizes a set reminiscent of the original Dunder Mifflin Scranton offices along with a large number of costume changes in order to ensure all of the major characters get some stage time, despite the surprisingly small cast.

We were surprised by how good the show is. In fact, we had shared ideas and conspiracies on the production and how far it would derive from the original show. Needless to say, we were…entirely wrong. The writing, set, and performances from the surprisingly small cast absolutely blew us away.

Most of the actors were double casted and they were still able to perfectly display each character. At many points you would see one character and then they’d seamlessly slip away to transform into another.

Each character was able to make us easily laugh and cry from their performance; such as Kevin’s Chili Ballad, Andy’s banjo playing, Pam and Jim’s relationship, and of course, Michael Scott’s “that’s what she said” jokes.

The Office Musical is a parody so there are aspects that are slightly varied from the show, but while that may sound bad, it makes the musical incredibly more special and unpredictable even for people who have watched the show 18 times.

The musical also had Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen references in their songs which definitely pleased us and other theater lovers in the audience. The show left us laughing at how completely speechless we were and upset that it was over. The amount of times we said “did that actually just happen?” out of shock is countless.

After the show, we had the pleasure of getting to meet and interview Sarah Mackenzie Baron (Michael Scott), Katie Johantgen (Angela), Michael Santora (Dwight), Tom McGovern (Jim & Andy), and Taylor Coriell (Pam & Erin). Here’s what the cast had to say about our questions:

How did you get involved with the show [The Office: A Musical Parody]?

Baron: “I auditioned in the first round of everything, and there was this whole process where they hired everybody else before me. And yeah, I was down to the wire, I had to do video auditions, a whole lotta stuff.”

Coriell: “Well I’m a huge fan of The Office but I’ve seen Bob and Tobly [the writers] shows before. When I found out they were doing The Office I thought, ‘Okay I need to be in that,’ so I went to auditions but they called me back for Pam and also Angela but I was like ‘Give me Pam!’”

McGovern: “So, a friend of mine sent me the breakdown from Playbill on Instagram and she was like ‘You would be perfect for this it’s Jim and Andy it’s a split role, you have to go out and see what happens!’. I haven’t auditioned for anything in a year and a half and I was like, I love The Office, I’m gonna see how it goes. And I got a callback after the audition, and it all goes down from there. so I owe it to her, her name’s Ann-Marie, she’s the bomb, thank you Ann-Marie!”

Santora: “There was an open casting call in Manhattan, about 20 blocks from here [the theater], maybe three to four hundred people showed up and after a couple callbacks they narrowed it down to about fifty and then about ten for each character, so for the final callbacks it was down to like five or ten of us.”

What’s your favorite song/scene to perform?

Baron: “Okay so favorite song in the show in general has got to be ‘The Dundies’, like from beginning to end like the whole thing and the whole storyline that gets thrown into that. My favorite one to perform is the closing number for sure.”

Coriell: “In this show, it’s so hard to choose. I think ‘Marry Me Beesly’ or ‘Threat Level Mid-Afternoon’. But really, everything!”

Johantgen: “Oh, that’s such a tough question because this show is so much fun to do. I obviously love the sprinkles song, I love using the cat puppet, it’s such a great time.”

McGovern: “For sure, Andy’s ‘You’re The White One For Me’ because I get to play the banjo which is a freaking riot.”

Santora: “I love ‘Assistant to the Regional Manager’, although being Kathy Bates was also really fun.”

What’s your favorite episode of The Office & who’s your favorite character?

Baron: “I think my favorite character is Holly, I love Holly. Favorite episode, oh, Dinner Party by far.”

Coriell: “I’m not gonna say Pam, but honestly Jim. And my favorite part of the whole show is the season 3 finale for sure!”

Johantgen: “I love Mose. I feel like the first time I saw him, I couldn’t stop laughing he’s one of my favorite characters. And my favorite episode is Dinner Party, it’s such a good episode.”

McGovern: “Favorite episode is definitely stress Relief: Part 1. But there’s so many characters that I love, like I love Jim & Dwight’s dynamic.”

Santora: “I love when Dwight does the fire drill. He starts the fire and watches panic ensue. *laughter*”

All in all, The Office: A Musical Parody is truly an unforgettable experience that we would recommend to any fan of the TV show. The Office: A Musical Parody perfectly captures the magic that made the US TV show so memorable and hilarious, while also adding a new layer of entertainment through the use of musical theater. We laughed, we cried, and we definitely will be going back for more.

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