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A CurtainUp Review
Wedding Singer Blues
By David Avery
Carla Zilbersmith's Wedding Singer Blues suffers from just about every one-person show cliché. It's a recounting of her move from Vancouver, Canada to New York City in an attempt to become a professional singer (against the wishes and advice of her dour grandmother and unsupportive parents). She quickly finds a job as a wedding singer in a musical temp agency.
Not that Zilbersmith's show is without merit. She's a solid enough singer, in an American Idol way, but she isn't a diamond in the rough by any means. She repeatedly returns to a "song" she is working on during the performance which is just bad. This is a bit of a problem in Los Angeles where every third person in the audience is probably a musician of some sort.
The best part of the performance is Zilbersmith's depiction of Kathy Carol, the number one wedding singer at the temp agency. Her wry observations, manner and tone strike the exact right balance. The recounting of club "Space," with featured artist Sappho is also pretty funny and also right-on in tone. However, her characterizations of the various other personalities that make up her story are, for the most part, the worst sort of stereotypes -- from an old Jewish manager to the smarmy Brooklynite head of the agency.
A rather poignant moment towards the end of the play when Carla is confronted with her grandmother's forgotten singing career undercuts the many missed opportunities in the piece. In fact, the overwhelming feeling I left with was one of missed opportunity -- how Wedding Singer Blues could have been a solid piece of entertainment with the help of a strong editorial hand and a lead actor with the charisma, comedic timing and pathos to pull it off.
The set is designed to look like wedding reception, and the band that backs up Carla is very good at maintaining the balance between her singing and the music. Overall there's nothing new here and,worse yet, it's just not interesting.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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