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Peas in a Pod

Img_0130_2_2_ben_mclain_2 Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's, which is now in its third year of showcasing top-of-the-line cabaret entertainers on selected weekends at Vitello's Restaurant in Studio City, Calif., introduced two fresh and dynamic talents on August 16. The chemistry of this dynamic duo of singer-actors works so well, one tends to think of them as peas in a pod. These longtime 20-something friends have amassed impressive performing credits on their own, but their terrific new cabaret vehicle makes it clear that they will be performing together a lot more frequently in the future. As a duo, they go by the curious name BaulPointPen. Individually, they are Ben McLain (above) and Paul Peglar (below).

Their brand of two-hander cabaret is probably not unprecedented, but there's something truly unique about the way their individual personalities and senses of humor mesh, and the seamless way their routines segue from sidesplitting comedy to Broadway show tunes—and even to opera (in the case of the magnificent-voiced MacLain). A specialty part of their act is their splendid talent for a capella duets.

Img_4971_2_paul_peglar_8 Lanky McLain recalls Dick Van Dyke in his heyday—a dashing and amazingly limber physical comedian who can twist his handsome face into an incredible array of hilarious contortions. Peglar is more the shaggy-haired rocker type. He can be funny, warm, and cynical all at once, and he croons songs like “Crying” with power and panache, then brings down the house when warbling his original comedic song, “Cheesy Love Song.”. They parlay the jaunty ditty “If You Were Gay” from Avenue Q into an uproarious interchange. These guys have what it takes to forge an enduring professional partnership. Next time you hear they are appearing, rush over to see what all of the shouting is about.

-– Les Spindle

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