Bayside! The Musical! review


By Joshua Kaye

Airing between 1989-1993, I was either not alive when Saved By The Bell was on air or I was too young to really know that I was even functioning as a human being. But being the youngest of six children, I grew up seeing episodes here and there and enjoying them… I think. So going into Bayside! The Musical!, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I wasn’t a diehard Saved By The Bell fan or even an active one, but it seemed like an enjoyable ride that I wanted to take part in. What came next was some of the funniest, naughtiest, and most bizarre two hours of my life that I wish I could live over and over again.

Sam Harvey as Zack Morris

Bayside has a very loose plot — it’s the first day of school at Bayside High and the only students who ever attend the school — Zack Morris, AC Slater, Screech Powers, Kelly Kapowski, Jessie Spano, and Lisa Turtle — are back. Zack and Kelly are dating, AC and Jessie are dating (although they’re the worst couple at Bayside) and Screech continues to try and get with Lisa who denies him all the time and always. Greeting the six back to the school is Mr. Belding, the Principal of Bayside High. Right away, the six of them head to The Max where they find out that Max, the owner, is selling the place since he’s unable to pay the $500 to keep the place. The gang decides to come up with a way to get the money and save The Max.

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Coming in to help come up with an idea is Tori Scott, who usually pops in out of nowhere to flirt with Zack with her four ring pops, her leather jacket, and a condom stuck in her hair. Tori’s first idea is for Screech to come up with a special sauce which he does! Only there’s a special ingredient that shouldn’t ever be used in a sauce. The next idea comes from a special guest — Dustin Diamond, the original Screech from the show himself. His idea? Throw a prom — since, “It worked for us so many f%&#ing times.” Without giving much more detail in terms of plot, here a few tidbits that fans of the show will recognize as well — Jessie’s caffeine addiction, the music video, Malibu Sands Beach Resort, Zack stopping time, Showgirls. There’s plenty more as well but those stick out the most.

bayside the musical2The main six are absolutely hilarious, staying as true as they can to the show while sometimes going the extra mile for the raunchiness factor. While all six were magnificent, the two that stood out the most to me were Sam Harvey as Zack and Adriana Spencer as Jessie. Adriana Spencer was particularly enjoyable, going from playing it straight to going insane within a matter of seconds. But the funniest parts were left for Seth Blum, who played multiple roles: Mr. Belding, Tori, Max, as well as a couple of others whose names escape me at the moment. As Mr. Belding, Blum plays the role straight and cool while showing his lust for Zack in appropriate ways. As Tori though, Blum is the funniest character in Bayside. With the leather jacket, tight jeans, cheetah print leggings…you could see why Zack wanted to hit that.

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For everything that I loved and enjoyed about Bayside! The Musical!, there are a good amount of jokes that I missed as well. But you know what? That never bothered me — while I missed the jokes, the way they were presented was so ridiculous and hilarious that even when I didn’t understand it I was laughing anyway. It took five minutes for my eyes to be filled with tears, that’s how much I was laughing from the start. By the end of the show, the sides of my mouth actually hurt from smiling so much. Everything about the musical was perfect — the songs (some of the lyrics are outstanding and so well done), the acting, the raunchiness…I can’t get it out of my head. I’m dying to see this over and over again. Bob and Tobly McSmith have created the master of parody shows and it’s something you have to go and see.

Bayside! The Musical! A Parody of Saved by the Bell stars Sam Harvey, Katie Mebane, John Duff, Adriana Spencer, Justin Cimino, Shamira Clark, Amanda Nicholas, and Seth Blum with a special guest appearance by Dustin Diamond.

Bayside! is playing at Theatre 80 along St. Marks Place in the East Village every Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 PM.

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