The new Off-Broadway musical Cougar (not to be confused with the 2010 Chicago musical Cougars by Gillian Bellinger and Chuck Malone, nor with the 2008 New York revue Cougar by Mark Barkan) has opened to mixed though somewhat positive reviews. For the record, the creative team of this 2012 New York Cougar includes Donna Moore (book, lyrics, music), Mark Barkan, Meryl Leppard (addl. lyrics, music), John Baxindine, Arnie Gross, Seth Lefferts (addl. music), Lynne Taylor-Corbett (direction, choreography), and Dustin Cross (costumes). The cast includes Danny Bernardy, Brenda Braxton, Catherine Porter, and Babs Winn.
Suzy Evans (Back Stage): What should be an overtly campy ode to the societal convention of a “cougar” … tries to be heartfelt and gets caught somewhere in between. … The problem lies with Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s direction. She treats the piece as a musical of substance, when in reality it is pure farce. Book writer, lyricist, and composer Donna Moore’s music is cheesy and simple. … The theater was packed with women of a certain age having a ball. I can only hope that I’ll be having that good of a time when I get there.
Frances McGarry (First Online): Who would have thought that a musical about “cougars” … would be among those stories to refresh my soul? And soul this musical has. … Don’t go to see this show if you’re looking for flash, and special effects both literal and metaphorical with its pap outcomes. But if you want to be entertained and leave the house feeling your funny-bone was tickled and your soul uplifted, then Cougar: The Musical is a purrr-fect choice!
Iris Wiener (Theater Mania): The cheesy clichés abound … but despite the corniness of the light plot (and the horrible sound system that serves this theater), the production is a fun time for the non-jaded female theatergoer. … Lynne Taylor-Corbett, doesn’t get to do much with the hokey material, but in the few big dance numbers she has created, the women are clearly enjoying themselves. … While Moore has written some pieces that don’t belong in the show … much of Cougar: The Musical will leave audiences feeling better about themselves while they snap their fingers.