Friday, May 3, 2013

Hungover Together: mostly true stories that we sort of remember

A cabaret these days has become a great way for artists soon to depart our Land of Enchantment to give their swan song. However, "Hungover Together" was less of a swan song and much more a true life love story between four friends, two of which have left after the run of the show to pursue their NYC dreams.

Written and conceived by Gilbert Sanchez and Jessica Fisher, the autobiographical musical weaves together events from the forgotten night before by going through the clues left behind. Each clue leads the friends into another scene from their debauchery, and each becomes a new story to tell, all of which they insist are true. Drinking from the barrel of a shotgun (novelty glass) to wearing a Marilyn Monroe dress commando style, and even a naughty red headed wigged, Ariel the Mermaid impression... all true? For real?

Performed with Jonathan Gallegos and Marilyn Valencia and accompanied by Paul Roth, the humor of the cabaret was bawdy and bright. Trading off karaoke and modifying existing musical numbers were other numbers performed by the group, in solos, and duets as well. One particular favorite I had, "What the f*** was that?" takes place as Jessica (playing Jessica) clutches Gilbert (playing Gilbert) as they stumble through the horrors of the late night bar crowd.

Staged at the Musical Theatre Southwest Black Box theater, and directed by Hal Simons, the intimate setting allowed the performers to sing without body mikes, and with the kind of audience immediacy that sitting mere feet away from the drama onstage can produce. 

While drinking, and drinking, taking videos and pictures of each other and their escapades, and still drinking, Jess and Gilbert spend the evening singing, dancing, fighting, and making up, like any duo is prone to do under the influence of alcohol and devoted friendship.

Best of all was how they chose to end the show... by sharing via projector screen the real life evidence of their many nights of true debauchery, just as the show depicted it... pictures and videos of the times they've shared, and exactly how they played them out for us to see in the cabaret.

I have a soft spot for these two, we performed together in "Jesus Christ Superstar" in Fall 2012 and so it is bittersweet yet joyful to see them leave for other opportunities. Sending best wishes to these talented two performers, and hoping they take many more bows from many more stages in their future.

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