Sunday, December 11, 2011

Applause! Applause! Review of Branom, Coris, Bascom & Macaione in "Our Life & Times" by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of Curt Branom, Hector Coris, Jennifer Bascom & Michael Macaione in a show entitled "Our Life & Times: The Year In Musical Review" at Rose's Turn was written and published by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and appeared in Volume I, Issue 3 (January, 1998) of Applause! Applause!

"Our Life & Times" - Branom, Coris, Bascom & Macaione
Rose's Turn (55 Grove Street, NYC)
Reviewed 1/10/98 at 8 p.m.

"Our Life & Times: The Year In Musical Revue" strives to present "all the news that's fit to sing about." Famous people, current trends, obscure but interesting news items are all grist for the mill. The Prologue warns that the intention of the cast and of the material is "to offend" and to leave "no reputation untarnished." The "politically correct" and the "easily offended" are asked to leave or at least to know that they have been forewarned.

I thoroughly enjoyed this revue with music and lyrics by Rick Crom, a previous Leonardo da Vinci Award Recipient for Best Comedian. This musical revue is a great showcase for his talent. I hope it runs for years. I have already started to recommend "Our Life & Times" to friends and plan to return myself. There is "something for everyone" here that will keep you engrossed and entertained. This musical revue contains a thousand laughs and is smartly directed by Terri White. The lighting was expertly handled and the musical direction and arrangements by Charles Lindberg were flawless. Whatever cares or burdens you may have in your life, seeing this show will help you forget them, at least for an hour.

Some of the great numbers in this musical revue were "Chelsea In College", "Dr. Jack Kervorkian", "Prozac Ritilin, Fen-Phen", "Trailer Park Paula", "Space Station For Sale", "Sexual Harassment", "New Definitions", "El Nino", "The Army Song", "Michigan Militia", "Lesbian Madness" and the final number "You Can't Stay Here". The cast I saw worked well as a team and were quite enjoyable to watch. Michael Macaione is talented, tall and good-looking. He also looks great in a dress and I look forward to seeing more of him. Jennifer Bascom was a pleasure to watch. She was a bundle of energy and was "right on the mark" in all her roles. Hector Coris was an essential participant in the rapport that makes this show work. The otherwise talented Curt Branom gave a dreadful impersonation of Mike Tyson which absolutely ruined "Mike's Lament" and "Marv & Mike". Although Branom also went up on a few lines, I do feel that he is redeemable as a cast member, as long as he never again attempts to impersonate Mike Tyson.

I do have a few more minor negative comments. "Marv's Lament" is too short to be a successful number in this revue. Hector Coris shouldn't close one eye when playing an elderly man in "Rollerbladers" since audience attention is focused on his ability to keep his eye shut. The lyrics to "Internet Love Song" are not accurate if you're speaking computer literacy and the lyrics to "Christmas In New York" reflect an old image of New York where rudeness, crime and drugs were the order of the day. This song is out of date and should be replaced with a new "Christmas In New York" which takes account of such news items as pedestrian barricades and the Disney influence in Times Square. These are minor quibbles. Overall, the show is quite a find and an excellent value! Make certain that you go to see it either on Saturdays at 8 p.m. or on Sundays at 6 p.m. Upstairs at Rose's Turn. There is a $12 cover charge plus a two drink minimum.

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