By Max Kinnings, Matthew James and Nick Hale
Directed by Travis Eaton
Staring Adam Delmedico and Jesse Riese
Greater Orlando Actors Theatre, Winter Park FL
Bouncy Ben (Delmedico) loves hookers and blow, but his wife Emma (Riese) isn’t so keen on his hobby. He keeps dying in his favorite club and slimy owner Parnell (Stephen Pugh) is getting a little ticked off. Parnell imports eastern European women as sex slaves, and dreamy Monique (Erin Brenna) is his latest catch. When Ben suggests they elope, his wife finds out, he tries rehab but soon fall back in to his bad habits of snorting, cheating and dying. Poor Emma – all she ever wanted was a white picket fence and a baby.
This isn’t the most coherent musical I’ve seen, but the singing is good and some of the songs might become memorable with a little repetition. “Long Live Love”, “We’re Gonna Find another Way” and “Don’t Let Me Down” capture the emotional arc of Ben’s marriage, but the story is summed up in Emma’s best line: “Drugs didn’t make you push your dick in all those women.” That nearly made cheap red wine come out my nose. Delmedico and Riese are both dynamic singers, and the sound in the new GOAT facility is coming under control making for a pleasant listening experience. If you’ve seen Pugh before you know how he’s mastered the greasy used car salesman shtick, and Ms Brenna gives a tight portrait of a girl who fled to a new county only to end up worse than before.
The main issue here is the non-linear story: Ben’s first demise at the club is a flashback attended by Parnell’s complaint about “why did he die here?” The scene is repeated at the end of the first act, but in the second act Parnell dies and Ben is perfectly fine for a while. Maybe this was intended as surrealism, or maybe a cubist view of the events but death is rarely a matter of subjective opinion. Like so many musicals, this is a show more about singing and music than efficient story telling.
For more information on Greater Orlando Actor’s Theatre, please visit http://http://www.goatgroup.com/