The Boys Are Back!
The Boys Are Back!
Musical direction by Michael Wittenburg
The Winter Park Playhouse, Winter Park, Fl
With a title like “The Boys Are Back!” you might expect an evening of picking up chicks, getting drunk in an Irish bar, and the occasional college fight song, but tonight’s entertainment felt rather…sensitive. We opened strong with “Luck Be a Lady Tonight” sung by Todd Allen Long and “The Lady is a Tramp” belted by Mark Richard Taylor, but Jeff Clark balanced the testosterone with a smooth “Lady” and “My Funny Valentine.” He even did a half a duet of “Lilly’s Eyes” from “The Secret Garden.” Backing up the boys was Musical Director Michael Wittenburg hiding behind the piano. He produced a candelabra for the “classy” part of the show. That’s when he noodles the ivories while the boys slipped off stage to “check on the steak” and freshen up their costumes. Veteran drummer Sam Forrest wore his best fishing shirt and kept up a jazzy drum beat on a small kit, highlighting the onstage banter with a cymbal brush or rim shot as required. Another WPPH familiar, Bill Schwartz played acoustic guitar for the first act, and went electric for the much manlier second act.
Maybe it was the Coors light and hot wings at the bar, maybe their venture into country music, but act two felt manlier. Mr. Long opened with a Hee-Haw favorite, Buck Owens “Phht You Were Gone”. Eventually Taylor and Clark join in, and soon the audience is singing along. The swaying arm-in-arm closing time atmosphere continues with more country sing-alongs – “Drink More Beer” and “Bowling Trophy Wife.” Maybe they need to take of their top hat and loosen their cumberbunds more often, but these songs made the show. When not singing, we heard some “Guy Rules” and a Top 10 of gems like “Men are like lava lamps – fun to watch but not too bright.” We ended with a big blow out, “Copacabana.” Audience member were abducted to play Ricky and Lola and the other guy. While Lola swung here feather boa two guys mimed a pretty decent fist fight. It looks like guys can do more than scratch belch and flip channels, but don’t ask us to remember holidays or care which dress makes you butt look fat. Some of us might, just possibly, show some emotion, but then me need to lie down on a skanky couch for a while and just watch football. Honey, can you get me a beer?
For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, please visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org