See it if you were a HS theater arts junkie. The hell-setting is clever, the acting/singing is strong, but the story feels worn. Stereotypes abound.
Don't see it if you dislike shows about theater. Lots of inside jokes. No real lesson imparted. Still, SPM is a joy to watch. A fun, light outing.
See it if you enjoy one-person shows.
Don't see it if you aren't interested in seeing the work of a bunch of promising artists in the early stages of their career.
"'Diva: Live From Hell,' an energetic, campy variation on the 'All About Eve' theme, is performed with manic glee by Sean Patrick Monahan who also wrote the book and created all the colorful characters. His partner in crime is Alexander Sage Oyen who provided the music and lyrics. Sex (requited and unrequited), ugly violence and dark humor are all thrown into the story which is told by Desmond Channing (Monahan, who also plays virtually a high school's worth of characters)."
"The quintessential show for musical theater lovers...With odes to the Golden Age, jazzy lounge numbers, and some exquisite showstoppers, Sage Oyen has brought new vivacity to Monahan’s colorful characters...This show would not be possible without the brilliance that is Sean Patrick Monahan. Both as a performer and writer, he has a strong ability to paint the players. They may be over-the-top but they are genuine and accessible. As a performer, Monahan is transformative."
“A brilliant new one-man musical…Although technically a one-man show, it doesn't feel like one. Monahan has a definite gift for mimicry to the point where other characters in the plot seem to have a palpable presence…The songs by Oyen are clever and vibrant and flow seamlessly with the script. Monahan delivers the songs with élan and a well-honed, confident voice...A precocious achievement for Monahan. The script and his performance demonstrate a laser-like intelligence."
"A dark comedic send-up of madness directed with smart intensity...Monahan moves seamlessly from one character to the next embodying each one with consummate flair. His voice is terrific, and when he launches into song his brave performance and 'Diva' comes fully alive. Unfortunately, although initially witty, Desmond is such a shallow lout that you quickly lose all compassion for him. Despite all the talent involved his story ceases to amuse and you couldn’t care less."
“A winsome cabaret performance…Mr. Monahan, who also wrote the terrific campy book, shines as Desmond. He artfully assumes the personas of the other characters in the story, too. As the playwright, Mr. Monahan infuses his tale with wonderfully reverent and sometimes rapid-fire cute references to other shows and actors, demonstrating his endearing and enduring love for theatre…The music by Alexander Sage Oyen is superb.”