Sunday, May 21, 2006

Review - Blonde Bloggers Bitching (The Duplex Cabaret Theatre)

Stage Buzz Review by Jere Williams

These friends came to the Big Apple from Northwestern University with stars in their eyes and hope in their hearts … only to find out that life in Manhattan isn’t exactly all Sex in the City. So they took to the internet to bitch about their love lives, or lack thereof, on their blogs. And a cabaret show was born.

Clarice Mazanec and Kat Voboril’s Blonde Bloggers Bitching is roughly based on their real-life experiences dating a variety of losers and wannabes on their quest for that elusive Mr. Right. Wow! Who would ever have thought that even stunning blonde goddesses would have trouble finding a date?

Highlights included a priceless opening medley of showtunes representing dating life in NYC. These two hooked me right away and I was laughing hysterically at their contemporary takes on some musical theatre classics, as well as more modern fare. The popular favorite with the crowd was a rendition of Rent’s “Take Me As I Am,” which was later brought back as an encore at the end of the evening.

There was clever juxtaposition afoot when the ladies chose a little-known song by George Gershwin, Otto Harbach, and Oscar Hammerstein II called “Vodka” to follow the Fred Barton perennial “Pour Me A Man” from Miss Gulch Returns. Despite it’s pedigree, I wasn’t familiar with “Vodka,” a paean to the eponymous liquor, but it went along swimmingly with Barton’s comic, drunken ode to liquor as a substitute for people of the male persuasion.

Voboril and Mazanec ran the gamut from classic show tunes to more contemporary musical theatre (even including a song from one of this season’s Best Musical nominees, The Color Purple) to pop. There were even original compositions from musical director Robby Stamper, who ably abetted the ladies on the piano.

Flaws were few … sure, the second half of the show is a little too ballad heavy and could use an uptempo number here and there, but each and every ballad was well chosen and well sung. Voboril, the shorter of the two ladies, needs to be careful that the microphone stand isn’t so high that the mic blocks her face. And some of the between-song patter, especially the prerecorded stuff, needs to be reconsidered as it tends to veer the evening a bit too preciously close to Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw and her sometimes ponderous Sex and the City voice overs.
I definitely recommend checking this show out whenever Voboril and Mazanec book a return engagement. Keep an eye out for them. These blondes are going places.

Further information: Blonde Bloggers Bitching runs approximately 54 minutes and started 11 minutes late at the performance that I attended. If you are interested in checking out the blogs that inspired the show, Clarice Mazanec’s is called Sometimes A Blonde Just Needs To Vent and Kat Voboril’s is Real Emotional Girl.