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Bryonha Marie Parham

A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet

October 5, 2021

While Marshall Pailet’s direction is breezy and fastpaced, the dialogue has too many Borscht belt jokes (“Take my Grandma, for instance. No really take her-,” Camp Rosenblatt, “As my Grandma used to say,” etc.”) and lyrics with too many quotes from much better song writers such as Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim and Bock and Harnick. References to Barry Manilow and Hanson don’t really land and the show counts on a great many current memes like making Wyse’s neurotic lyricist gay and Fankhauser’s self-effacing composer straight. Unfortunately, they are rather bland when they should be bigger than life in this three-character musical. The fact that they have no names and are referred to in the program as “Man 2” (there is no “Man 1”) and “Other Man” is pretentious rather than endearing. [more]

On The Town…With Chip Deffaa…Sept 9, 2017

September 9, 2017

In the first half of her career, Barbara Cook was a top leading lady in musical theater, famously originating roles in such Broadway shows as “The Music Man” and “She Loves Me.” (Decades later, she could still sing for me at her home lines of “My White Knight” that had been cut from the score of “The Music Man” before it opened on Broadway in 1957.) [more]