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Capital Fringe Festival review: ‘Superhero Celebrity Rehab’

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Superheroes are not above the earthly pitfalls that afflict the likes of Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and the rest of the human race. At least that’s the case in William Segal and Brendan Snow’s musical at the Capital Fringe Festival, “Superhero Celebrity Rehab.” The show’s gold-spandex-clad protagonist, Supernova, has a cocaine habit that gets in the way of his ability to deftly dispatch villains.

The snorting savior routine lands him in Origins, a rehab facility for superheroes with all manner of dependencies. There, Supernova meets the gluttonous Great Fondue, the sex-addicted Scarlet Letter, the anxiety-riddled Critter and an all-around creeper, Nightmare the Night-Stallion.

“Rehab” falls on the polished end of the Fringe Festival spectrum, promising relatively professional lighting and costumes and an exceptional cast of experienced actors whose musical abilities are rivaled only by their comic timing. Bill Coyne is especially memorable as Supernova, the fist-bumping frat boy of a crime fighter who enjoys having tickle fights with his pet turtle.

While the script delivers big laughs, it also tends to meander. There’s enough material within the confines of Origins to fill the show, but other plot lines — Supernova’s daddy issues, for example, and the rise of a reality-television-obsessed supervillain — create a sense of clutter, making the musical longer than it needs to be.

Even so, Friday’s packed crowd at Gala Hispanic Theatre seemed to revel in the silliness and even bought into the sweetness of an unrequited love story (more than a few audible “awwws” rippled through the audience at one point). It’s quite a claim, but the musical might be the most fun you can have in rehab, which can only mean one thing: Winning.

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