‘Titanique’ Is a Love Letter to Celine Dion, Jack, Rose, and Campy Theatre
Musicals that lean into the camp really work. It’s why you want to go back time and time again, and Titanique really has mastered the art of combining your love for something with making your audience laugh at the absurdity of it all at the same time. I was lucky enough to go to a show this weekend for The Mary Sue, and it was truly an experience that made me want to buy another ticket right then and there.
Co-created by stars Marla Mindell and Constant Rousouli (along with Tye Blue), the show takes us through Celine Dion’s (Mindell) time on the Titanic. Yes, Celine Dion was on the Titanic. Look it up. (Don’t, this is a joke.) But the musical starts with you as the audience going through the Titanic museum and Dion being there to tell you all about her time on the ship.
And throughout the story from the James Cameron movie Titanic that we know and love, we get to see Dion pop up to sing covers of her own songs along with the incredibly talented cast. But the absurdity is, frankly, why I am so obsessed with it. The musical comes as a love letter to Dion, the movie Titanic, and this kind of theatre that has, more recently, fell to the back-burner. But Titanique’s praise and the love fans have for it show just how much we’ve missed this kind of experience.
My heart will go on and on back to see Titanique again
It’s easy for a show that is using Dion as our guide, along with all of her music, to feel like it is making fun of her, but that’s not what Titanique does. And maybe it is because Mindell’s performance is very much the little quirks that we know and love from Dion, but done in a way that honors the singer. It’s paired well with Rousouli’s performance as Jack, where he looks and acts a lot like Leonardo DiCaprio’s take on Jack Dawson.
Rose (played in my performance by Carrie St. Louis, who knows when to turn up the comedy in what is essentially a “stright man” role) still has those iconic beats we’ve come to know. She’s on the ledge when she meets Jack; she’s “flying” on the edge of the boat, and so, the musical really does pay homage to the movie and what we love about it while still having a lot of fun.
And I will always love an event that ends with the entire room singing “My Heart Will Go On” together. The point is: This show is so incredibly fun that it feels like returning to that age of theatre that has sort of faded away. Yes, there are things like Silence! The Musical (based on The Silence of the Lambs) or other parodies, but Titanique isn’t really a “parody” but rather, as I said, a love letter.
(featured image: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)
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