The Office! A Musical Parody Weaves Together TV Show’s Best Moments for a Night of Nostalgia

To perform a musical parody of one of the most iconic TV comedies of the last two decades in a theater full of the show’s diehard fans is a gutsy move. In a 2016 interview, three years after “The Office” had ended, John Krasinski recalled the nervousness he had going into auditions for the role of Jim Halpert.

The one thing that made him more nervous than the audition itself, he said, was the prospect of being part of an American remake of a British TV series that he loved so much.  

Krasinski recalled his feelings that “Americans have a tendency to really screw these opportunities up.”

“I don’t know how I’ll live with myself if they screw this show up and ruin it for me,” Krasinski said.

The cast of The Office! A Musical Parody might have gotten a taste of that nervousness with their off-Broadway production that is running at The Theater Center at 50th and Broadway.

While parodying the hilarious, deadpan sitcom might be risky from a critical standpoint, the show undoubtedly provides fans with a fun-loving, up-close and personal look into the Scranton, PA offices of Dunder Mifflin, one that exchanges much of the show’s comical drudgery for a show packed with boisterous, goofy interactions and references to the show’s iconic moments.

With appearances from “Prison Mike” and a number dedicated to “Threat Level Midnight” (rebranded as Threat Level Mid-Afternoon), the actors keep audience members hooked on their own fondest memories of the Dunder Mifflin universe.

The show covers a lot of ground in less than two hours, mixing and matching narratives to weave together a story that stays true to the essence of the characters while maximizing its ability to touch on as many moments, relationships and storylines as possible. A pitiful yet lovable chili-bowl Kevin becomes a recurring character toward the end of the show, a goofy storyline exaggeration that entertained the audience throughout. 

If nothing else, a commitment to the inherent exaggeration at the heart of this musical parody is a commitment to the idea that “The Office is more than a great show. Fans of “The Office” consider themselves part of the world of Dunder Mifflin. Even after the show’s series finale in 2013, “The Office” took on new life by becoming a centerpiece of modern meme culture. It’s still a household favorite on Netflix.

Point is, “The Office” never really left. And regardless of critics’ thoughts on whether a musical parody of this classic mockumentary is a blessing or a curse, the audience’s reactions to, say, an entire song dedicated to innuendos tempting Michael Scott to erupt with a “That’s what she said!” make one thing clear: none of us ever really left Dunder Mifflin, either. The Office! A Musical Parody is an amusing, charming portal through which New Yorkers can re-enter that world, see their favorite characters become larger than life right in front of them and laugh to their heart’s content with fellow fans.

Get your tickets to The Office! A Musical Parody

featured photo: Russ Rowland