Sunday, August 14, 2011

FringeNYC 2011: Hush The Musical

Madelyn Schwartz, Diana Falzone, Seth Blum, Tommy J. Dose and Emelise Aleandri in Hush The Musical
Now playing at Le Poisson Rouge as part of the 2011 Fringe Festival, Hush The Musical is set in the VIP Lounge at LaGuardia Airport during a blinding snowstorm which has grounded all flights.  It is there that we meet Othello Salviati (Seth Blum) who, having been cuckolded by his wife Vittoria (Diana Falzone) is ambivalently conspiring with Nick, a soft-hearted hitman (Tommy J. Dose) to arrange her murder.  Also in attendance is Georgia, a pesky New Age meditation instructor (Emelise Aleandri, who is also the play’s librettist and the artistic director of The Frizzi & Lazzi Theatre Company which, together with Charles Mandracchia who co-conceived, composed and directed the work, was responsible for the overall production).  The cast also includes a rather bereft stewardess (Madelyn Schwartz) and assorted other airline passengers (Blair Anderson, Emily Billig, Jim Roumeles and Isabel Cristina Orbando).

It all makes for a somewhat amusing 75 minutes entertainment and I left with a smile on my face.  But while the score and the lyrics were serviceable, they were scarcely memorable and I didn’t find myself humming any of the tunes at the end of the show.  Musical direction and orchestrations were provided by Mitch Marcus who also played the piano; he was accompanied by Alisa Horn on cello and Yuiko Kamakari on violin.  All three exhibited exceptional musical talent and can’t be faulted for the score’s shortcomings.

All five of the leads (Blum, Falzone, Dose, Aleandri and Schwartz) performed well but the one who came closest to stealing the show was Dose who, as a homesick and somewhat inept Eastern European hitman, was responsible for virtually all of the show’s comedic high points.  If there’s any really good reason to see this show, his performance is it.  The rest of the show’s cast (Anderson, Billig, Roumeles and Cristina) seemed to be there more as filler than anything else and it wouldn’t have mattered much one way or the other, had they been left out.

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