Los Angeles Cabaret Review: HELLO AGAIN! THE SONGS OF ALLAN SHERMAN (Linden Waddell at the Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre)

by Tony Frankel on June 28, 2017

in Theater-Los Angeles

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MY DAUGHTER, THE CABARET SINGER

This year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival has given me new hope for the art of cabaret: Black and White in Paris offered standards dripping in style; Psychosical deliciously revived oft-heard songs by casting singers as denizens of a loony bin; and now comes Hello Again!, Linden Waddell’s spot-on salute to arguably America’s greatest song parodist, Allan Sherman.

Folks may not be familiar with Sherman by name, but most everyone has heard of “Hello Mullah, Hello Faddah,” the camp letter sung to the tune of a section from Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours ballet. Those who are familiar with the chubby, Jewish, boyish guy with a not-so-good voice most likely owned one or more of his first three albums: My Son, the Folk Singer, My Son, the Celebrity and My Son, the Nut. In Waddell’s 55-minute set, backed by music director and arranger Marjorie Poe, you get a surprisingly refreshing set of songs mostly not from those blockbusters. We heard cuts from later albums, including Allan in Wonderland and For Swingin’ Livers Only!: songs like “There is Nothing Like a Lox,” “”Night And Day” (With Punctuation Marks),” and “Skin” a parody of Damn Yankee‘s “Heart.” And it’s always great to revisit those incredible folk song gems (“Cockeyed and Musclebound Molly Malone”).

In between songs—staged with playful zaniness and a few props by the master Janet Miller (can this woman do no wrong?)—is a reverent look at the irreverent comedian. (My only quip was that a body mic, instead of a stand, would have made song transitions much smoother.) If I wasn’t laughing or guffawing, then I was simply grinning from ear-to-ear the entire show. That’s magic. And with Waddell looking like she should be singing operetta and Poe looking like a kindly librarian, the results were even more hilarious.

Hello Again! The Songs of Allan Sherman
part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival
Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre, 5636 Melrose Ave
ends on July 9, 2017
for tickets, visit Hello Again!
for more info, visit Linden Waddell

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