‘Emojiland’ is playing until March 8 at The Duke on 42nd Street.
By Elazar Abrahams
The new off-Broadway musical Emojiland has little in common with 2017’s The Emoji Movie, but it isn’t much better than that infamous failure. Despite some clever set design and kitschy appeal, Emoji is well, poop emoji.
Aside from the lackluster story (I mean honestly, who thought a Broadway musical about emojis was a good idea?), the most blatantly awful aspect of the production comes on a technical level. The sound level was not properly mixed with the actors’ voices, leading to super off-putting arrangements during songs. Adding to the issue is the fact that most of the cast just doesn’t have the proper vocal chops for the songs. Whenever the villain character – Skull – was attempting to belt out some goth ballad, I found myself staring at my feet. The audience could barely make out the fangled lyrics.
I don’t want to insult the creative team. They worked hard, and there are a couple of redeeming qualities to Emojiland, yet overall, I can’t ignore the well over two-hour runtime. There are 16 musical numbers, three major storylines that never intersect, and at least 20 characters. That is, bluntly, total overkill. Emojiland is nowhere near good enough to justify the amount of content it contains. It would be best if they downgraded to the previous iOS.
The one part I absolutely loved? Performers Leslie Margherita (Princess) and Natalie Weiss (Construction Worker) absolutely slay on stage. I’m looking forward to the cast album dropping in late February so I can relive just their parts.