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Theater Notes: The Musical of Musicals is a smash hit

By Staff | Apr 6, 2016

This is one of the most totally, completely delightful evenings in the theater you will get anywhere. THE BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater right here on Sanibel truly has a smash hit. I saw a full house of white haired heads leap to a resounding standing ovation. In my opinion the four performers and their marvelous piano accompanist earned every decibel.

Now this is not a musical with a usual plot, in fact there is nothing in it that is usual. Unpredictable, yes, with miraculous combinations of things from almost all the big time creators of musicals. First off it is funny as hell. You’re sitting there roaring with laughter, and marveling at the shear creativity of every song, every line, every pun and every gag.

It starts with Rodgers and Hammerstein. The highly worshiped composer and lyricist are given the most brilliant parody. It mixes up nutty combinations of fake lyrics from maybe, “Carousel” maybe, “Oklahoma,” certainly, “Sound of Music” tied into “South Pacific” and shreds of “The King and I.” I probably missed five others.

While the audience recovers from that folly, they’re already deep into Sondheim. How about something they call “A Little Complex” where they weave shreds and shards from a stellar line up of “Into the Woods,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Company,” and “Sweeny Todd.” Nowhere else will you ever hear more mayhem and magic. And that’s only act one. After the intermission it gets even funnier. But, you get the idea, I hope. Parodies of top-flight Broadway hits. Go, hurry for tickets, because I guarantee you will receive a hell of a lot more outlandish brilliance than you ever could have imagined.

A remarkable script about remarkable musicals poked fun at in remarkable ways, demanded a remarkable cast. And oh did we get four sensational stars. The Strauss Theater’s own Bobby Logue anchored the whole thing, and gives what I believe might be the best performance of his career. Highest kudos, Bobby. He sings, he dances, he cavorts, and makes you love him every step of the way.

The two women in the cast, will be familiar and welcomed back from “Stepping Out.” Samantha Rotella, with that powerful voice and a commanding presence clearly shined as Abby. Queen of so many costume changes, her Nunship was one of the best. But, that little charmer, Marley Dove, took it over the top tonight. This will be of her absolute favorite role because she won the hearts of everyone in that audience. You must, you must, go see her in her brilliant amazing performance. Now, there’s a new guy on the block. Joey Homza, and yes, he was great. Wait until you see his “Phantom,” among a dozen triumphs.

I hope I’ve made you want to come see the show. There’s so much more than what I have space for. Let’s just say this was the finest, funniest and most satisfying evening in the theater of all that I’ve seen this season, everywhere.

Get to the box office. This will have sold out audiences very, very fast. The box office is: online, WWW.BIGARTS.ORG. By phone: 239-472-6862 It’s not just a “must see.” It’s my “must, must see.” I can’t wait to see it again.