It is so refreshing to see a musical with a mostly female cast. Ron Barnett’s music captures some wonderful harmonies among the women and Mitchel Glaser’s lyrics are fun and catchy. The three men are also very strong, including an increasingly near naked Manson, brilliantly portrayed by Troy Barboza. With an excellent book by Scott Guy this production gives a glimpse into the time period of the drug-addled hippie era and an understanding why this group of women followed young Charles to do his gruesome bidding.
What I didn't like
All the songs are great, including a fun group number with machetes, but i would have preferred to have the songs forward the action more than commenting on it. There are excellent solos for each of the women that give insight into their individual points of view, including a chilling commentary by the young, pregnant and alone Sharon Tate, beautifully portrayed by Lauren Byrd. Karlee Squires is a stand out as conscientious Zephyr, but I can’t help thinking her song (spoiler alert) would have more impact if it was placed before her demise rather than after.
My overall impression
Manson’s Girls is a nostalgic, sometimes chilling, sometimes silly fun musical about the women followers of Charles Manson leading up to the infamous Sharon Tate murders. It’s a crowd pleasing musical about a mass murderer. One can see how this is a Fringe favorite!