Truffaut famously remarked that it is impossible to make an antiwar film, because no matter how hard you try to portray the horrors of death and injury, the art of cinematography will make them look cool. The same can apparently be said of the technical wizardry of “White Noise”, a musical that features a white supremacist rock band’s rise to mainstream power. The creators (composer/lyricists Robert Morris, Steven Morris and Joe Shane as well as book author Matte O’Brien) have made no secret that they are attempting to be provocative, although it’s not clear to what end.
We are quickly introduced to the titular band, White Noise, featuring two beautiful blonde sisters, Eden (Emily Padgett) and Eva (Mackenzie Mauzy) along with Eva’s skinhead boyfriend Duke (Patrick Murney). Eva and Duke are true believers, Eden is just going with the flow. Amoral record producer Max (Douglas Sills) with dollar signs in his eyes, sees mainstream crossover potential in their racist rantings. He offers them a devil’s bargain. If they tone down their explicit racism in favor of subtle, coded messages, he will mold them into chart topping stars. His assistant Jake (Eric William Morris) has a conscience and is initially horrified by his boss’s scheme, but goes along out of greed and a burgeoning romance with Eden, whom he attempts to lead away from her fascist family.
A parallel subplot features Max molding Tyler (Rodney Hicks) and Dion (Wallace Smith) two positive minded old school rappers into a more commercial “gangsta” act.
The songs are catchy (especially the nonracist “White Trash Fairytale”) and the actors are all giving this their best shot but there’s not much substance here. For a satire this is a notably unfunny show. I laughed very little and I find racism hilarious!
There’s a lot of intriguing promise here that ultimately goes nowhere.