Friday, November 21, 2008

"What's the Point?" by Hector Coris - A New Musical Revue

Lyrics by Hector Coris, Music by Alan Cancelino

Starring Hector Coris, Patrick Garrigan & Eadie Scott

Musical Direction by Alan Cancelino
Choreography by Susan Haefner
Directed by Collette Black

"What's the Point" is a musical revue by Hector Coris and Alan Cancelino, an almost comedic character-driven musical in the realm of "Songs for a New World"...only extremely funny. A three-person show (two men, one woman) and piano, it utilizes a blank stage, simple props/costumes & furniture pieces, and a little bit of mime to establish time, place and character for each number. Solos, duets, trios - all utilized throughout the show. Some songs were downright comedy, others sweet humor, some parody on certain Broadway & Cabaret "staples" of the biz ("The Mel Brooks Way," "The Disney World Song") Hector's lyrics have held me in stitches each time he performs them at open mics around town. His "My Moment" song, which he sings towards the end of "WTP" is a brilliant example of commentary on modern "idol" worship. Perhaps one of the most subtly subversive yet wonderfully sweet songs I've ever heard was "I Played With Myself," sung by Patrick Garrigan. All it took was Patrick, the piano, a chair, and the audience's imagination to make the song a standout example of excellent songwriting and interpretation. And Eadie's remorsefully funny search for "A Real Straight Guy" highlighted her comedic strengths.

Director Collette Black kept the energy and flow from one song to the next going and going - a hard feat with only three bodies on a rather large stage, comparatively. The energies and characters of the actors on stage kept the Laurie Beechman Theater stage full, the choreography was well-thought out and executed. I'm not a huge fan of the LB stage for Cabaret use; it doesn't have the intimacy of a good Cabaret space, but is big enough for a full-blown (albeit tightly staged) musical or blackbox theater show. However, the food is good and the drinks look marvelously decadent, although on the pricey side. However, for "What's the Point?", the stage was well utilized. I was sitting in the front "row" of tables, and could hear everything despite the absence of mics; I could not tell if the use of them was needed for the far wall of the room, but I'd suspect they could be used if demanded.

All in all, a great evening of comedy. I suspect more from Hector - heck, I'm singing one of his songs for Big Night Out's composer showcase on January 29th, 2009 at Dillon's restaurant!


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