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Here's what I've enjoyed seeing or reading so far...hope you enjoy them as well!

      

 

Entries in NYMF (2)

Wednesday
Jul182012

Baby Case at NYMF: Hour of Gold

Cast of "Baby Case", Photo Credit: Bill BustamanteIf you are looking for a NYMF show to see, go see "Baby Case" with a book, lyrics, and music by Michael Ogborn, direction by Jeremy Dobrish, and choreography by Warren Adams. "Baby Case" is a retelling of the Charles Lindbergh, Jr. kidnapping and subsequent murder trial, the first true media circus of the 20th Century.

Melissa van der Schyff, Hannah Elless, and Patricia Noonan, Photo Credit: Bill BustamanteWill Reynolds and Anika Larsen, Photo Credit: Bill BustamanteSo many things about this show are great! The book, the music, the cast, are all delightful! Going into this show, I didn't know much about the Charles Lindbergh, Jr. case, but now I want to know so much more. Michael has written a show that is gripping and emotional, with just enough humor interspersed. The whole cast was a delight to watch! They are all very talented with great singing voices. Will Reynolds was spectacular as "Charles Lindbergh/Bruno Hauptmann". He did a great job differentiating between his two characters. His vocals are some of the strongest male vocals I have heard in a while, especially when he sang "No, I Never Did," "Over the Sea," and "Scapegoat." Anika Larsen was exquisite as "Anne Morrow Lindbergh/Anna Hauptmann." From her acting to her pitch-perfect singing, Anika always shines bright! She really lit up the stage during "Lullaby," "Unmerciful Hearts," and "One Little Boy," but it was her trial scene as "Anne Morrow Lindbergh" where Anika really excelled! Melissa van der Schyff was radiant as "Violet Anika Larsen and Cast of "Baby Case" on Trial, Photo Credit: Bill BustamanteSharpe," especially when she triumphed on "Dirty Dishes." It was quite a powerful scene. I also throughly enjoyed Jason Collins in his multiple roles of "Detective Schiable/Father Coughlin/Walter Lyle/David Wilentz." He too distinguished himself very well. It was wonderful that he got some solo moments to sing. Throughout the show, Patricia Noonan ("Betty Gow/Ginger Rogers") and Hannah Elless ("Emily Sharpe/Adela St. Johns") hit all the right notes! I loved their vocals and am glad they each got showcased. Patricia started things off to a great start with "Nurse's Song." She knows how to work it! Hannah was terrific on "Hour of Gold." She really held her own. Michael Thomas Holmes showcased himself perfectly as "Walter Winchell." He worked that stage and made me take notice of him and his talent. Eugene Barry-Hill, Matthew Myers, and Kurt Zischke all did a really good job, with each having a few moments of their own to stand-out.

Jason Collins, Will Reynolds, Tom Riis Farrell, Photo Credit: Bill BustamanteMichael Thomas Holmes, Photo Credit: Bill BustamanteI felt very involved in the story, excited to find out what would happen next! I definitely could see this show having more of a life after NYMF. As much as I loved this show, there were a few numbers that didn't move me "Baby Case" and "Trial Drinking Song." I think if this show moves, it would be interesting to see if it could work without those two songs. I think "Trial Drinking Song" could be done with just the speaking part that started the song.

Cast of "Baby Case", Photo Credit: Bill Bustamante"Baby Case" is a good musical, with a strong book, music, and cast! I felt as though I sat through an original musical with much potential for a future run! "Baby Case" plays at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street) through this Sunday, July 22. Click here for tickets!

Sunday
Jul152012

Flambe Dreams: Fun, Humorous, and Enjoyable

"Flambe Dreams" is a new musical comedy that was enjoyable to sit through. Written by Matthew Hardy and music by Randy Klein, "Flambe Dreams" is the story of "Joseph Christiansen," played by "Jersey Boys'" Jarrod Spector, who aspires to be a great Maitre d' like his father, played by Kevin B. McGlynn, who was tragically killed in a freak flamming Banana Foster accident. Wanting to pursue his dream, against the wishes of his mother, played by Tony Award nominee Catherine Cox, "Joseph" moves to New York in hopes of being a Maitre d' at Le Cirque, one of NYC's famous restaurants. Along the way, he meets "Gloria," a pharmacist at Duane Reade, played by Jillian Louis and "Desiree/Delicious Dish," played by the hilarious J. Elaine Marcos, most recently as the ping-pong poppin' "Cynthia" in Broadway's "Priscilla Queen of the Desert."

As "Joseph" pursued his dreams many lessons were learned along the way about life, love, lies, and parenting. I was very entertained during the show while being taught a few good lessons. In a very funny way, "Flambe Dreams" showed me what a parent will go through to protect her child from hurt, even when it may not be the best thing for him. It also showed what one person will endure to reach his dreams, even when it seems like they won't come true. It also highlighted what a few people would do to find love and how far they would go to get it.

The whole cast should be applauded for their comedic talents, though J. Elaine Marcos did steal the spotlight several times when on stage. She really utilizes her improv/stand-up comedy skills to bring her moments just that much further. Jarrod Spector and Jillian Louis were both very funny in the way they capitalized on their characters' neurosis. Catherine Cox was delightful playing "Joseph's" mother especially when she felt he was doing something he shouldn't be. Catherine found a way to embody the crazy of the mother. Kevin B. McGlynn shined in each of the characters he played: "Joe's" father, "River," the owner of "River's Holistic Tearoom," "Yashinoya," the owner of "Speedy Happy Noodle Shop and Internet Cafe, and "Emile," the head Maitre d' at Le Cirque. Kevin found a great way to make each character stand out in a hilarious way.

Overall the music was enjoyable. I particularly liked "Mr. Christiansen," "Helping Children," "Chatroom," "Table For One," "Lesions On Your Heart," "My Dream," "Letting Go," and "Everything You Long For." These songs really stuck out for me because they were either written with much wit or they really gave some insight to the character.

I hope this show has more of a life after NYMF. If it does, I might suggest trying to trim it down to just under 2 hours or re-work the ending because I did think the show was over after everyone sang "Everything You Long For," but then there was about another 10-15 minutes. Although, "Everything You Long For" would have been a fitting ending, but it was nice to see the actual ending, so maybe there is a way to smooth that out.

"Flambe Dreams" is fun, humorous, and enjoyable. The run is already sold-out but there is talk of a possible addition. Stay tuned to "Call Me Adam" to find out! "Flambe Dreams" has added one more performance: Friday, July 20 at 11pm! Click here for tickets!