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Review: An Awesome Cabaret of Flops and Old Fogies

Above, Claybourne Elder’s Road Show story/performance.

Sometimes you do things for entirely shallow reasons. Like buying those leopard pumps because they look perfect with your outfit and not because you can walk in them. Or seeing a cabaret purely because Jeremy Jordan and Claybourne Elder will be there.

And sometimes—unlike with the shoes—your shallowness pays off. As it did on Monday night at If It Only Even Runs a Minute, a cabaret dedicated to “celebrating rare songs, behind-the-scenes tales, and inspiring photos from underappreciated musicals.”  In other words, this is for the flops and the oldies, and the people who love them. Or love to hate them? Or maybe both.

And it was amazing. Honestly. I am far from the obsessive cataloguer of theater history. I am a here-and-now, what’s-coming-next kind of girl. I don’t even like to buy cast albums for shows I haven’t seen. I was expecting to enjoy a few performances, maybe spot a new performer to keep on my radar. I was not expecting to laugh so much, or learn so much, or have such an all-out wonderful evening.

Producers Jennifer Ashley Tepper & Kevin Michael Murphy play double duty and host the evening, sharing facts and anecdotes about the shows, as well as photos and playbill cover art and newspaper scans they’ve compiled. Their pananche, their bright humor and ability to play off the audience, keeps the evening from becoming a dry history lesson. In fact, the result is an accessible, joyful celebration of musical theater as a whole, viewed through the lens of the shows that never quite caught hold.

Of course having the very handsome Jeremy Jordan and Claybourne Elder there didn’t hurt either. Those two fools even suggested they add a number from Bonnie & Clyde to the lineup—when they’d signed on to perform, Bonnie & Clyde was still alive and well—and their sense of humor about their own very recent, painful experience and badass performance was a real highlight. As was the moment during his Dracula performance when Tom Hewitt turned away from the crowd, then spun back around baring his fangs. And Alli Mauzey’s “Screw Loose” from Cry Baby, and Saum Eskandani’s “My Ship” from Lady in the Dark, and, and, and.

Really, the evening was basically wall-to-wall talented performers and great performances. I’ve already marked my calendar for their next show in March.

Meanwhile, since Claybourne and Jeremy were my inspiration for attending If It Only…, I thought it only appropriate to share video of their performance of “When I Drive” from Bonnie & Clyde. Don’t swoon too hard.

Video: Shoshana Feinstein

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Clare Boyd January 19, 2012, 2:05 pm

    Oh, I’m swooning. Swooning hard. Even if these two weren’t unreasonably sexy already, their voices would do it.

  • Vi January 19, 2012, 11:46 pm

    When is the next show? It sounds so interesting as well as a blast.

  • Lindsay January 20, 2012, 11:35 pm

    Big time swooning. Would love to see the next show.

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