Review: ‘Scooby-Doo in Stagefright’

Good for a few laughs and a quickie night out, "Scooby-Doo in Stagefright" isn't much to look at or take in, but it does the trick for undemanding auds looking for a reason to go to the Kodak Theater. Venue is a strange place to house this wafer-thin live show, but then again, what better place than the heart of Hollywood to revisit the canny canine.

Good for a few laughs and a quickie night out, “Scooby-Doo in Stagefright” isn’t much to look at or take in, but it does the trick for undemanding auds looking for a reason to venture to the Kodak Theater. Venue is a strange place to house this wafer-thin live show that features Scooby and his pals — it would feel just right on a community center stage — but then again, what better place than the heart of Hollywood to revisit the canny canine who made out like a bandit at the box office last summer, to the tune of $153 million.

Like a lost episode from its yesteryear Saturday morning run, the national tour places Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne in the middle of a movie-set mystery. The gang is off to Clawhammer Studios — the production design is quite colorful and crafty — to visit Daphne’s uncle and spend some time learning how the biz works. But a goblin has disrupted shooting, and the phantom’s prize pursuit is the diamonds that are set aside for Belinda Del Monte, a snotty diva who quits after clashing once too often with the nosy foursome and their snoopy pooch.

Half-empty hall managed to liven up whenever audience participation kicked in, whether it was Shaggy and Scooby investigating the aud for clues or a few clap-happy tunes that briefly replaced some of the manic screaming the cast seemed to think was necessary to keep antsy tots engaged. (How Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “(They Long to Be) Close to You” ended up as the sole nonoriginal song is a question for the ages.)

Whatever one’s take on the “Scooby” renaissance, there’s no denying that people really do want this stuff, and the energetic players are more than happy to look like geeks doling it out. And they should — with a pic sequel in the works and merchandise galore, this gig could well last forever.

Scooby-Doo in Stagefright

Kodak Theater; 3,000 seats; $40 top

Production

Warner Bros. and Clear Channel Entertainment present a play in two acts by Jim Millan. Directed by Millan.

Creative

Script consultant, Mark McKinney. Sets, Robert Bissinger; costumes, Gregg Barnes; sound, Peter Hylenski; lighting, Paul D. Miller. Opened, reviewed April 2, 2003; runs through April 6. Running time: 90 min

Cast

Shaggy - Bjorn Thorstad Fred - Jerry Richardson Velma - Randi Rosenholt Daphne - Rachel Kimsey Kimmi - Shorey Walker Belinda Del Monte - Laura Bonello Crawley - Andy Paterson Uncle Tim - John Nagle Scooby-Doo - David Droxler, Pierre-Marc Diennet
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