It's my party and I can laugh if I want to

Party of One

Music and Lyrics by Morris Bobrow
All for One Productions
Directed by Craig North
Don't Tell Mama
Non-union production (closed)
Review by Dudley Stone

Musical comedy revues are few and far between these days. In the '30s, '40s, '50s, and '60s, Noel Coward, Joyce Grenfell, Gertrude Lawrence, Ronnie Graham, Meredith Monk, Flanders and Swann, and a whole host of other performers in London and New York (including Audrey Hepburn, discovered in a review called ``Sauce Tartare''), provided their enchanted listeners with an undemanding, entertaining, amusing, and sometimes sophisticated evening's entertainment: the revue. It was never too long, it represented no great intellectual challenge, and was ... just fun.

And what fun it is to see a talented young quartet, each with a good voice and lots of natural charm, in the comedy cabaret Party of One at Don't Tell Mama. This comfortable little nightclub has about 40 seats, a very small stage, a piano, and some good lighting. This very tightly directed ensemble moved the evening along smoothly and presented Morris Bobrow's clever lyrics and easy-to-listen-to music with considerable elan and sparkle.

Very subtly accompanied by musical director Cynthia Kortman, Chris Dell'Armo, Eileen Fowler, Daniel Sclafani and Shelley Clarke deliver a series of songs and a couple of skits all on the theme of the difficulty of being single. Some of the songs are funny, some a little sad, and all tasteful and pleasing to listen to. Clarke sang an amusing song about the demon bad breath, ``Tic Tac,'' and a winsome ballad, ``He Makes Me Smile.'' And Fowler sang a hilarious song about having a baby through artificial insemination, ``I bought the sperm- an, now I have a little Sher-man.'' Dell'Armo led the team in a song about ``Second Rate Singles,'' a group he had formed for mediocrities, low-achievers, and bores, who were relieved of the pressures of having to impress and compete. Sclafani was sensitive and vulnerable as a gay guy at a mixed singles bash and fine as a vicar who, in the process of marrying a couple, begins a dialog with the bride recalling their past affairs and putting down her previous dates. He finally proposes to her, she accepts, and they walk off leaving the stunned groom with nothing to say but ``Shit!'' The other skit has a police detective flashing his badge and reminding lovers of just how many and which states have a whole series of laws still on the books that pretty much prevent any kind of sexual activity whatsoever, sometimes even for married couples, ``so, if you're horny, you better go to Californie.'' Great fun.

Lights and sound were both fine in this highly professional show. Party of One will be returning to Don't Tell Mama in the future, so, oobr readers, by all means go and enjoy it.

Box Score:
Writing 2
Directing 2
Acting 2
Set 2
Costumes 2
Lighting/Sound 2
Copyright 1996 Dudley Stone

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