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Review: 'Repo! The Genetic Opera'

This musical is a cross between 'Rocky Horror' and 'Sweeney Todd' but without the savage wit.

By Peter Rainer / November 8, 2008

Graverobber (Terrance Zdunich) in REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA.

Courtesy of Steve Wilkie / Lionsgate


If you are one of those midnight movie devotees still on the lookout for the next "Rocky Horror Picture Show," – well, keep on looking. "Repo! The Genetic Opera," based on a fringe stage musical that played in Los Angeles a few years back, is like a compost of "Rocky Horror" and "Sweeney Todd," but without the floridity or the savage wit. It's set in 2056 when an epidemic of organ failures has created a thriving industry in organ transplants administered by a nefarious conglomerate called GeneCo. Its president, the appropriately named Rotti Largo, is played by Paul Sorvino, who has sung opera professionally and has a suitably strong voice. Sarah Brightman, who once starred in "Phantom of the Opera" and was married to Andrew Lloyd Webber, plays the haglike Blind Mag and lends some oomph to the relatively tone-deaf score. Paris Hilton also turns up, still trying to be famous for more than being famous. She has a ways to go. Grade: C (Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, language, some drug and sexual content.)

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