"I'll Die If I Can't Live Forever," a musical by Joyce Stoner, is a negligible business, done middling well by the folks at Garvin's Laugh-Inn. Surely not immortal, it still might last you till dessert.
Less a musical than a collection of songs -- strung together by backstage high jinks -- it treats young actors trying to cut it in the Big Apple. Six of them try out for a musical revue, make the grade and put it on -- in a club much like The Improvisation, where Stoner's action is set. All the while, they lament life in Manhattan.
Dramatically weak -- the show's stilted patter holds no surprises -- "I'll Die" boasts strength in some musical numbers. Such songs as "I Hate Football" and "It's Great To Be Gay" are moderately clever and amusing and are sung by this cast with spirit and aplomb. But other tunes, such as "A Is for," an ode to abortion, seem clumsy and stupid, and as much a chore to hear as they must be to perform.
This mixed bag was put together by director Mark A. Marple with a cast of reliable singers but spotty actors on a ticky-tacky set. Black building blocks painted with letters to spell out "REVUE" serve as props on a plywood stage. The cast slides them about -- to the increasingly noxious strains of an electric piano -- and matters get more and more jumbled.
I'LL DIE IF I CAN'T LIVE FOREVER -- At Garvin's Laugh-Inn through March 12.