APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Lawrence University Theatre Arts will present “The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27-28; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 in Stansbury Theatre. Info: lawrence.edu/music-arts/box-office/tickets.

The spoof is by Eric Bogart and Joanne Rockwell.

It is structured into five acts, each of which is a short musical parodying the style of an American or British musical theater composer or composer/lyricist team, all dealing with roughly the same classic melodrama plot: “I can’t pay the rent!”

Directing is Kathy Privatt, with Phillip Swan as music director.

+ “Corn!” is set in the style of the musicals of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Featured are featuring parodies of and references to “Oklahoma!” “Carousel,” “The King and I,” “Cinderella,” “Flower Drum Song” and “South Pacific.” In Kansas in August, Jitter threatens that June will have to marry him if she can’t pay the rent. Big Willy is torn between his desire to marry her himself and his desire for the freedom of his carnival-barker lifestyle, and Mother Abby advises her to “follow her dream”, leading to a lengthy dream ballet.

+ “A Little Complex” is based upon the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, including “Into the Woods,” “Company,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “A Little Night Music” and “Sunday in the Park with George.” In a New York apartment complex full of neurotics, Jitter is a mad artist/landlord who plots to murder his tenants, including bird-obsessed, indecisive Jeune, deep-thinking composer Billy and pessimistic alcoholic Abby, for throwing his artwork out with the trash. After many overly-complex lyrics and dissonant music, he does.

+ “Dear Abby” parodies the work of Jerry Herman, especially “Mame,” “Hello, Dolly!” “La Cage aux Folles” and “Dear World.” Abby is an unconventional Manhattan socialite, adored by her neighbors. Her advice solves everyone’s problems. Between costume changes, Abby manages to matchmake her nephew William and her geeky friend Juney-Fae and convince the stuffy Landlord Mr. Jitters to embrace his true self and become a drag queen. Much dancing follows.

+ “Aspects of Junita” plays upon the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber, including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Evita,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Sunset Boulevard,” “Cats” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Starlight Express.” The show is sung through. Junita hopes that becoming a superstar, despite her lack of talent, will allow her to get out of paying her rent from the mysterious Sir Phantom Jitter. As her boyfriend Bill bemoans the lack of communication in their relationship (they cannot talk), and fading diva Abigail von Starr advises her to go over the top, Junita falls under Phantom Jitter’s spell, only for an errant Chandelier to bring things literally crashing to a spectacular climax.

+ “Speakeasy” reflects the work of John Kander and Fred Ebb, chiefly “Chicago,” “Cabaret,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “Liza with a Z. In a 1930s Chicago speakeasy where half the characters are German, Fräulein Abby advises Juny to turn to prostitution to pay her rent. Her boyfriend, Villy, is both gay and in jail, and is of no help; and the activity is presided over by the creepy emcee/landlord Jütter. All sing about how depressing life is and dance around in skimpy clothing.

The finale: “Done,” a parody of the song “One” from “A Chorus Line.”