By Toby Zinman
This rollicking musical from The Underground Shakespeare Company starts with a famous phrase from Henry IV, Part One -- “civil butchery” -- and uses it as a lyric, adding, “It makes us into men.” So it looks, briefly, as if this musical version of Shakespeare’s history play has a political agenda.
That soon vanishes, though, and the show continues as a parody (travesty? burlesque?) that in spite of itself sometimes captures the emotional power of the real thing as some good actors with strong singing voices do the play justice.
Prince Hal (Gary Kurnov) and his rival, Hotspur ( Dave Kurnov — that the actors are brothers and look very much alike adds an extra dimension) square off, and, once again, fat Falstaff (Eric Johnson) is banished, while King Henry (Rob Bobst) despairs of his profligate son.