Friday, February 27, 2009

Cabaret Act Bares Hart and Soul

Betty Hart brings it all, heart, soul and feeling, in Dancing Monkey’s newest cabaret, “The Other Side of Love.” Too bad she only gets two numbers, as they are two of the show’s best: “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” from the musical “Show Boat,” and a parody of a doo-wop tune written by “Weird Al” Yankovic called “One More Minute,” whose lyrics include, “I’d rather dive into a swimming pool filled with double-edged razor blades rather than spend one more minute with you.”

Unfortunately, that’s my sentiments about parts of the show, which is filled with campy acts and performers who don’t quite hit the mark on the musical numbers or in the dancing or acting department. It’s not just the amateur routines that make you want to stick needles in your eyes, it’s the over-the-top acting that lacks any truthfulness.

The shame is so much time is wasted on kitschy skits that it’s not until the very end that we see the true talent of some of the performers. Only then does Aaron Gotlieb get to show his acting chops in a monologue by Topher Payne. And Adam Montague and Casey Holloway, who play a newlywed couple in jejune skits where neither of them shines, should have been singing all along. They close the show with “They Were You” from Tom Jones’ musical “The Fantasticks,” and it is only then that we see they really are fantastic.

The show runs Feb. 27-March 1 at The Academy Theatre in Avondale Estates.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Other Side of Love

Forget that Cliff never called like he said he would, even after all that online flirting on JDate. This weekend love is promised at Dancing Monkey Cabaret's show "The Other Side of Love," featuring actors and singers Betty Hart and Matthew Trautwein.

I haven't heard either of them sing, but I know Betty from Working Title Playwrights, a group dedicated to writing and performing plays, and based upon her acting, I'm betting she's a great singer. Trautwein, whose work I don't know, has been praised in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for his "lovely tenor singing." I'll attend a dress rehearsal and report my findings.

The show will be held Feb. 27-March 1 at The Academy Theatre in Avondale Estates.