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Saw The Musical The Unauthorized Parody Of Saw Main

SAW The Musical: The Unauthorized Parody of Saw Play Review

Written by Ricardo Serrano Denis

saw the musical the unauthorized parody of saw poster large

Directed by Stephanie Rosenberg
Music and lyrics by Anthony De Angelis & Patrick Spencer
Book by Zoe Ann Jordan
Music Directed by Leigh Pomeranz
2023, 100 minutes
Premiered on September 16th, 2023 at the AMT Theater, NY

James Lynch as Adam/Diana
Danny Durr as Gordon/Zepp
Gabrielle Goodman as Amanda/Jigsaw/Alison
Donnel Johnson as the voice of Detective Tapp


Jigsaw’s been going strong for years, a hit since the first Saw movie released back in 2004. This creepy horror icon has been tied to a considerable amount of bloodshed throughout ten movies as of the time of this writing, and fans have been eager to come back to his signature kills and his tricycle-riding puppet. And yet, no one has seen him sing and dance. SAW The Musical: The Unauthorized Parody of Saw rectifies that, with glam and pizzazz to spare.

Directed by Stephanie Rosenberg, SAW The Musical is a queer retelling of the first movie, set entirely in the bathroom location where two men (Adam and Gordon) are chained just out of reach from each other. Just like in the movie, these two men harbor secrets that can either save them or secure their doom, unless someone has the guts to saw a foot off to escape. In The Musical version, those secrets can also make them fall in love. Hot, steamy love. And then the music begins.

The play succeeds in turning every single memorable element from the James Wan-directed film into a song that pokes fun at it. From the pighead figure to the Jigsaw puppet to the unlucky woman that wakes up with a gnarly bear trap strapped to her head, there’s a song that digs into the silliness of the situation and how each character would much rather be thinking about how sexually charged everything can be. This means that having knowledge of the first Saw beforehand is necessary for full enjoyment. It’s not meant for people coming into the franchise for the first time.

James Lynch and Danny Durr as Adam and Gordon, respectively, keep the story moving with an intensely infectious energy that puts sexual innuendos at the forefront of their attempts to solve the mystery of their abductions. Their on-stage chemistry really sells these two characters as exaggerated interpretations of the film originals, and as complex victims that are seriously thirsty for each other.

The songs also do a good job of telling the story and of moving it forward. They don’t feel superfluous or in the service of mere punchlines. That said, they can be silly to the point of outstaying their welcome. Not every joke lands, and they do start feeling repetitive after a bit. Adam and Gordon’s horny energy is loud and fun, and it comes with its own set of props, but after a while it does run out of steam somewhat.

Another thing that left me a bit confused was the almost complete exclusion of the Detective Tapp character from the original (played by Donald Glover in the film). He’s relegated to a voiceover sprinkled throughout and doesn’t really add much to the proceedings. For a play that manages to reenact scenes that took place outside the abandoned bathroom, I felt the absence of the character as he did add a few twists to the story in the movie.

Despite these annoyances, SAW The Musical: The Unauthorized Parody of Saw is a great time that certainly parodies the film it’s based on while also turning it into something that holds its own identity. If you thought the movie lacked buckets of condoms, sex toys, and a dancing puppet as all the maiming and killing was taking place, then this version of Saw is sure to make you a happy camper.


Play: 3.5 Star Rating Cover

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About The Author
Ricardo Serrano Denis
Staff Writer
Ricardo believes that everything can be explained with horror. It’s why he uses it in his History classes and why he writes about horror comics. He holds a Master’s degree in Comics from the University of Dundee in Scotland in which he studied the relationship between Frankenstein and Marvel’s Ultron. He was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is now based in Brooklyn.
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