Growing up is weird, isn’t it? When you’re a kid, going off to college seems so grown up and far away. Then suddenly you’re a real adult, looking back at your freshman year and cringing at your awkwardness and naiveté. Or you might look back at your shiny, happy childhood memories and see a darker truth behind them, and start to question everything. And if you’re a noted writer and illustrator like Alison Bechdel, you put it all in a graphic novel called Fun Home: A Family Tragicomedy, that gets adapted into a five-time Tony Award winning musical that’s part coming-of-age story and part family drama, with a bit of levity and lot of great music mixed in.Read More
Let me get something important out of the way first; yes, GOBSMACKED! is a little like Glee. But not that much. The beatboxing/a cappella show on for a very limited run at the CAA Theatre lacks the melodrama and twisted storylines of the TV series and it has a decidedly British slant - Britpop is well represented by songs from Ed Sheeran, the Beatles(twice!), the Stones, David Bowie, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Duffy, and Queen. It’s not perfect - there are a few numbers that come off as a little flat or overly produced - but for the most part, it’s a lively, exhilarating show with some genuinely jaw-dropping moments featuring the beauty and power of the human voice.
GOBSMACKED! is a team of six vocalists - a bass and two tenors, two mezzos and a soprano -
and one beatboxers (more on him later). Most of the singers are Brits, and the two mezzos have
that bluesy, soulful style I associate with Joss Stone and UK soul - a powerful voice that can be
deeply husky, as in Joanne Evans’ take on “It’s a Man’s World.” It takes some serious moxie to take on a James Brown number and Evans kills it.