Fringe Shorts: Google: The Musical

Andre Francisco went to see “Google: The Musical” by The Imbecile Domicile at U of M Rarig Center; he was bemused at the comically bent world it evoked. But the music—well, it wasn’t funny.


Google: The Musical would have been the joke-filled look at the future it so badly wanted to be if only they had dropped the “musical” part. With the notable exception of Abhrajeet Roy’s raunchy love song to a computer, the songs were consistent comedic low points in this otherwise hilarious script by Drew Hammond.

The play follows Penelope, the last librarian in existence; Jessica, a hip grandma; Rajit, an Indian tech support geek with a deep love for computers; and Game Boy, who plays (guess what) Gameboy all the time. In a world where Google has gone offline, everyone has become a wandering zombie without the source for all information. As the four heroes go on a quest to kill Google, they face numerous challenges, including a live reenactment of classic video games– undoubtedly the best scene in the play.

When they’re acting, the characters are all over-the-top and consistently funny. Jay Walker is great as Google the pimp, and his quartet of female followers play their stereotyped roles to consistent laughs. Certainly the most enjoyable character is Roy’s Rajit, with his laugh-out-loud (LOL?) entrance. Many of the jokes have wide appeal, though certainly those with an interest in computers and video games should enjoy the show more than “noobs” will.

Where the show drags is during some of the songs. Technical limitations, like the use of hand-held microphones, often limit the actors’ performances. Despite these flaws the show is enjoyable, it’s interesting that half the laughs are due to audience members’ embarrassment at getting the geeky joke.

If you find yourself using Google as a spell checker or for useless pieces of information, see this show as a reminder of how trulystrange a phenomenon Google is. If not, see it and have some genuine fun. In either case, don’t expect to love the songs.