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Fractured Fairy Tales

Following a bit of unfortunate news from Valley Musical Theatre’s Executive Producer Ronn Goswick—that the superb year-old company is in the red and postponing the remainder of its season, including Baby and Little Shop of Horrors—the mood changed to joviality. The hilariously twisted revue Fractured Broadway 2 is a followup to last year’s star-studded musical romp that introduced the company.  Like last year’s Fractured Broadway, it’s a benefit event for Goswick’s North Hollywood company (performing at the El Portal Theatre). This year’s sequel was a bit less star-studded than last year’s but it nonetheless provided a fine evening, spotlighting first-rate talent.

The “hook” is that performers are cast in musical roles they ordinarily wouldn't get. The emphasis in most numbers was on gender-bending. Handsome and appealing Brian Lane Green became a sultry torch singer, with “The Boy Next Door” and “The Music That Makes Me Dance.” Leslie Odom Jr. delivered a smashing rendition of Garland’s "The Man That Got Away.” The captivating Kathy Garrick turned “She Loves Me” into a stirring lesbian ballad. A spry distaff quartet (Robin Delano, Kathleen Hennesey, Collette Peters, and Ali Spuck) took on a Four Seasons medley, perfectly timed to the local premiere of Jersey Boys at the Ahmanson.

Other goofy bits included golden-voiced Kevin Earley and ever-charming Mark W. Smith playing two humps of a camel in “I Will Never Leave You” from Side Show; Lesli Margherita’s sidesplitting sendup of Paris Hilton in “If I Only Had a Brain” and the endlessly hilarious Bruce Vilanch, cavorting with a handheld Bruce puppet in ”If I Were Gay” from Avenue Q. Yet even this master of camp humor took a serious moment to urge the capacity crowd of viewers to support VMT, so we will not lose it. Amen. www.valleymusicaltheatre.com

--Les Spindle

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