Posted on Jul 22, 2013
4 out of 5
Barry Manilow's music in a whole new key and tempo with a modern spin help tell the story of a small town, simple-minded young man who sings mostly country/western music in a small town in Arkansas until circumstances force him to take the leap of faith and re-start his life in New York City.
Leave it to Jeff Smith to put his stamp on a simple-minded and not so bright character of Joey and deliver it with charm, charisma, and flair, and watch him slowly develop the character from a down on his luck loser to the strong, confidant person we all hope to become. Smith and Manilow's music carry Lucky Streak and provide Fringe audiences with 90 minutes of fun and enjoyment even when confronting some serious domestic and social issues.
According to the Fringe blurb about the show, "A musical showcasing the music of Barry Manilow - performed a whole new way! Whether you're a Fanilow or not, come hear this rockin' live band playing genres from pop to gospel."
The new musical, originally planned for a 2-hour plus intermission affair needed editing to fit within the 90 minute time constraints of the Fringe, and sets, costumes, dialogue, music all needed some cleavage to make the show work, writer Vicki Vodrey said. The show comes directed by Alli Jordan.
Lucky Streak plays Manilow's music to a whole new audience and with a different sound. And while the music sounds familiar, so too, do the domestic and social issues contained in the script. Jeff Smith plays Joey, the lead character and
country/western singer who canít seem to get traction
with women. A string of broken dreams and bad choices
force him to make the leap of faith to the Big Apple
and start fresh.
Then, there is his good friend, Chris who forms a band thatís looking for a break. The problem: Chris's alcoholism and abusive relationship with his girlfriend, Benni. Sean Hogge and Mandy Mook portray the doomed couple. He's a racist, sexist, womanizer, animal-abusing bastard. She's the typical abused woman crushed by her need to be loved and her need to feel worthy which plays out to her serving a man so obviously not interested in her or her needs.
So, the triangle is set in motion when Joey, Smith's character moves in to start his life in New York City. Along the way both success and trouble enter the picture as the music of Manilow provides the backdrop.
The show is fun and entertaining but needs some work to blossom into a full-length production and needs to flesh out some more characters, interactions, and strengthen the dialogue. But, it's a great start for a show that could be seen soon as a completed piece.
Credit the band for the new sound of Manilow music and new and exciting arrangements. Experience the fun of Barryís music in a new way. And enjoy the singing of Smith, Mook, and also Victoria Barbee.
Lucky Streak plays on the Main Stage of The Unicorn Theatre for only $10. Come get your Fringe on and become a Fanilow, anew.