It was a night filled with wonder, talent and hilarity as Inhabit Theater performed A VAUDEVILLE FIASCO at The Other Side in Crystal Lake. This new musical was created by Kellee Stall and Sophia Stall with writing support from Marty McGinley and choreographed by Karen Neidlinger. Directed by Kellee Stall, A VAUDEVILLE FIASCO features music, a variety show, and significant prizes for the winner. Inhabit Theater is all about inhabiting unique spaces with original plays. The space for A VAUDEVILLE FIASCO called Other Side which is a warehouse revamped as a sober night club complete with a three tier stage perfect for a Vaudeville show.
The performance I was at on Wednesday evening featured five entertaining performances in a variety show with the contestants trying to win a new home, new car and a ham. The performances had an amazing combination of talent and chaos surrounding them, ultimately with the audience selecting a winner.
The music performed by “Of Wire and Wood” was perfect for this show. The musicians Zachary Draper, Tim Rack and Brandon Morales played a set of gypsy jazz pieces as the audience assembled and tasted the treats from “For the Food of It”. The music is the foundation that holds this ping-pong festival of variety acts together. The range of the music was impressive as well with pieces such as Jeepers Creepers, Take on Me and Bad Romance.
The names of the characters and the acts themselves payed homage to some of the great burlesque comedy and song and dance of the great Vaudeville days of the past. A VAUDEVILLE FIASCO is at its best when the acts speak for themselves. The Rhineheart sisters played by Kate Curtin and Tania Gibson feature two beautiful sisters who can’t properly function with the other on the same stage. Their mantra of “anything you can do, I can better” makes for an electric performance. Danny Vanbrooks played by Marty McGinley makes you laugh out loud with his dry humor and talent with a “dummy”. Of course it wouldn’t be a Vaudeville show without a magic show. Balthazar played by Randy Peterkort and his lovely daughter/assistant Kimmy Blake had the audience on pin and needles as they perform their unpracticed new trick. Simone, played by Karen Neidlinger is confronted with a surprise before her performance begins but handles it well with ta little help from emcee of the show Ricky Rock played by Adam Moxness to put in a tap dance performance for the ages filled with highs and lows. Finally, the Nickerbockerson’s put on a song and dance performance I will not likely ever forget. Buster and Edith, played by Danny Miller and Naomi Rogers take the Vaudeville era to a completely new place in spectacular fashion.
A VAUDEVILLE FIASCO provide an engaging evening of entertainment that’s suitable for all ages. The show is befitting of the atmosphere of an actual Vaudeville show. Director Kellee Stall does an amazing job of pulling together the music, entertainment, chaos, food and honoring the sponsors of the show. This is a must see.
A VAUDEVILLE FIASCO plays at the Other Side in Crystal Lake at 93 East Berkshire. The show runs through April 8th. Tickets are available at inhabittheater.com
Review by William Geheren