Lauren McCombs, a senior performing arts major, plays June in “The Musical of Musicals.” (Amanda Wheeler)

By Anna Homa

Musicals usually have the tendency to be big productions with intricate lighting, over-the-top set designs and elaborate costuming. And anyone attending can expect to be in his or her seat for more than two hours. That is, unless you see the satirical “The Musical of Musicals,” being performed in Gifford Theatre.The almost one hour and 15 minute show is based on the styles of five different masters of the genre, split into five different scenarios of the same plot. It’s the story of a girl who can’t pay her rent, but her evil landlord insists she must. Will her leading man come to her rescue before it’s too late?

With very few props, only four performers and no set changes, the action must drive the show. And take it from me, it does. Every time Peyton Conley, Melanie Hall, Lauren McCombs and Randy Smith set foot on stage, they demand attention and fill the stage; you don’t even notice the lack of anything else.

From the opening act to the closing lines, I laughed until my chest hurt. From the very beginning the lyrics were silly; the first song is an ode to corn, and the dance numbers are a parody of other musical numbers.

The music shifts from act to act in the styles of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and, lastly, Kander and Ebb. Anyone familiar with the work will be able to recognize what musical inspired it.

For a good time and a great laugh this weekend, attend a performance of “The Musical of Musicals.