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Photo courtesy of Katie Settel
Photo courtesy of Katie Settel

There’s something delightfully warped about squeaky clean children sticking daggers in their opponents  as they cheerfully sing, “It’s a Sunshine Day”. Don’t worry–It’s not nearly as dark as is sounds. In fact, it is probably the campiest scene you’ve seen on any stage in quite some time. This outrageous moment unfolds near the end of act one in the brilliant  and hysterical The Bardy Bunch , now playing off-Broadway at theatre at St. Clements.

This Shakespearean send up pits the Bradys and Partridge familes against each  another. Both have been booked to perform at the same venue and neither are content to share the spotlight.  In true fashion, all of the Elizabethan elements conjoin and no one is spared from the bloodbath that will inevitably ensue.  Othello is here, along with Macbeth, Hamlet, and Shylock. Romeo and Juliet are also evoked as the Brady teens and Patridge teens bat forbidden eyes of romance across enemy lines.

Writer Stephen Garvey has created a witty and clever script that is executed with tongue in cheek perfection from a fun and talented cast.While many of us grew up with these two families, we are well aware of how delightfully tacky both shows were. Yet we cannot get enough of them. Here,  “so bad it’s good” dialogue is blended with the eloquence of the Bard, and  the results are side splitting.

The show has a limited run, playing only through April 13th. I have already sung the praises of this retrospective gem to friends and plan to catch it again before they pack up the bellbottoms.  To paraphrase the dippy song, “I think I love it/So what I am so afraid of?/ I’m afraid that it might sell out before you can get your hands on a ticket!”

The Bardy Bunch plays off-Broadway through April 13th at the Theatre at St. Clements, 423 W. 46th between 9th and 10th. For tickets, visit http://thebardybunch.inticketing.com/events/series/The+Bardy+Bunch