If America singing sounds like me in the shower, then this play was incredibly accurate. This weekend, Munchkinhead and I headed to the Skylight Music Theater for I Hear America Singing. It’s a musical theater production about a musical theater production, and was written specifically for the Skylight.
Munchkinhead and I usually love our trips to the Skylight, but this one fell for flat. For starters, I’m tired of theater shows about theater shows. This show had a neat concept but didn’t really follow through on it well. And all the music sounded the same – except the song about whiskey, we liked that one. The music to the rest was piano-player-in-a-hotel-lobby style with lyrics very similar to the types of things I make up while singing in the shower, or eating, or getting dressed, or being.
One of the gentleman in the show, Rick Pendzich, was Max in Lend Me a Tenor, which Munchkinhead and I loved. Interestingly, he played a baritone in this show, even though he was a tenor in the other. His voice was excellent in both shows.
Part of the reason this show didn’t really jive was that, while Rick looked to be about mid-30s, his supposed-to-be ex-wife looked to be in her 60s. Stage makeup may do wonders in a traditional theater, but in a small and up-close space like the Broadway Theater Center’s Studio Theater, you can really see every line and wrinkle in the actors’ faces. Stage makeup is not enough to make everyone look the same age. It also might have helped if they didn’t dress her like Florence Henderson in every scene.
Munchkinhead and I have decided we’ll stick to stuff in the big theater, because the studio theater presentations have been less than thrilling.