April 21, 2015

Add to that the unmissable performances: four superb actor-singers (Christine Dwyer as Sara, Anastacia McCleskey as Narrator, Cole Burden as Tom, and Tommar Wilson as Michael) who during the sung-through show move about among the audience, stand on the bar and pool table, and step onto an endstage where there’s a rockin’ band (Yusef Chisholm on bass, Darren R. Cohen on keyboard, Logan Seith on drums, Ben Young on guitar). Shining musical talents one and all, they have been burnished to a shimmering luster by Director David Muse, Music Director Darren R. Cohen, Sound Designer Ryan Rumery, and Movement Director Nancy Bannon.

April 20, 2015

With terrific voices that sweeten the dark edges of Murder Ballad, the four cast members throw themselves into the performance just inches from the audience. The cast includes Christine Dwyer as Sara, a woman with downtown roots and uptown desires; Cole Burden as Tom, the hunk who lights many a fire in the women around him; Tommar Wilson as Michael, the solid, “good-guy” up-town savior and Anastacia McCleskey as the Narrator. Or is McClesky more than that?

September 21, 2014

The show also allows Ms. McCleskey to sing a rocking version of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and Ms. Arnold to play the saucy seductress on LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade.” Both are great fun, as is the antic “Proud Mary” performed by DeAnne Stewart, another backup singer. (Rahmel McDade, who gets no big solo, alas, rounds out the singing staff.)

September 15, 2014

Singer-actor-director-writer Anthony Wayne (Pippin) aims to take you higher in a biographical tribute to the 1970s disco icon Sylvester, who became a pop star despite and through his unusually open gayness. Kendrell Bowman codirects, and Jacqueline B. Arnold and choreographer Anastacia McCleskey provide backup as the Weather Girls.

April 2, 2011

The plot is jaunty for the most part, aided by the presence of an abundance of dance floor tunes. There is no original music to be found here, but the arrangements of the songs on display (orchestrated by Stephen “Spud” Murphy and Charlie Hull) are mostly inspired and well-performed by a fine-voiced cast. Tick, Adam, and Bernadette get their chance to sing in character, but they’re also supported by a trio of “Divas” (Jacqueline B. Arnold, Anastacia, McCleskey, and Ashley Spencer), who provide most of the music for their thrilling lip-synch performances (a standard practice in the world drag performance).

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