February 25, 2015

It’s not easy being a superhero charged with protecting Brooklyn. Making sure all that fresh produce makes it from farm to table. Breaking up fights at the Park Slope Food Co-op. Preventing French tourists from falling into the Gowanus Canal. These and other daily challenges are the responsibility of six superpower-endowed men and women fighting the good fight in Brooklynite, a slight but goofily endearing new musical that opened on Wednesday at the Vineyard Theater. With a perky pop score by Peter Lerman and a slyly funny book by Mr. Lerman and the veteran Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Spring Awakening), who also directs, the show makes genial sport of both superheroic tropes and the rise of Brooklyn, which has itself become a sort of champ among New York boroughs. (“In a world beyond savin’/Brooklyn is a haven,” runs one of Mr. Lerman’s cheerleading lyrics.) The characters were created by Michael Chabon, whose novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay was set during the halcyon days of the comic-book business in the 1940s, and Ayelet Waldman, also a novelist (and married to Mr. Chabon). Another inspiration was the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company — yes, an actual establishment! — for which the musical’s plot supplies an elaborate fictional back story.