Flying House Productions is currently presenting two shows over at the Erickson Theatre that's bound to appeal to all kinds of musical theater lovers. The problem is that elements of both shows combined form a kick ass show but separately they seem only half-baked.
CAPTAIN SMARTYPANTS: A PANTY LINE
The first and more PG rated of the two offerings features that hilarious offshoot from the Seattle Men's Chorus, Captain Smartypants. Those musical comedy cut ups are back with their ode to Broadway. As they attempt to grant the wish of a sick little girl who sent a message to them on You Tube, the boys (David Caldwell, Jeffrey Erickson, Joshua Herrington, Joel Kimmel-Staebler, Rad Milosavljevic, David Nilsson, Paul Rosenberg, and Tyler Smith) present some toe tappers from the great white way and also some wonderful bits showing the potential shape of things to come.
For the most part the show is a winner. With hysterical mash ups like "The Lion King and I" and "Ann of La Mancha" and send ups like "The Exorcist: The Musical" and "Downton!" But it was with the standard Broadway fare that they seemed to lose their zeal. It could have been the lack of mics on stage that made it difficult to hear but when they were doing the classic stuff I felt they could have put more into it and tightened a few things up. But then that need for tightening seemed to be a running theme throughout both shows.
LATE NIGHT CABARET
The challenge with any late night show, especially a cabaret without a running storyline, is to keep it tight and cohesive so as to not lose your audience who are staying up past their bedtimes (especially us old codgers). And this was where the "Late Night Cabaret" at the Erickson ran into problems as at times it felt like it had been thrown together the night before.
Presenting a more R rated evening; we were regaled with some of the naughtier numbers from Captain Smartypants as well as some gems from the hilarious Lisa Koch and the ladies from Sensible Shoes and more. Koch was definitely the high point of the evening with her excellent vocals and sidesplitting folk songs. But then I wouldn't expect less from Koch, as she is half of the amazing duo "Dos Fallopia". But I also loved the superb send-ups from Sensible shows as well as the Smartypants. And yes, for those who need something even dirtier there is a number with a large amount of gratuitous nudity.
But there were also a few numbers that just seemed superfluous and out of place for a cabaret proclaiming to offer the wickeder side of musical comedy. One act in particular just came across as a big ole' WTF moment. Add to that the shocking lack of preparation and some moments of the evening were just a big mess.
So on the whole the four plus total hours I spent at the Erickson over both shows had some definite moments of glee and humor. I just feel that I could have seen a tighter best of the entire evening in only two hours and still made it home in time for a good nights sleep.
"Captain Smartypants: A Panty Line" and "Late Night Cabaret" perform at the Erickson Theatre through May 26th. For tickets or information contact the box office at 206-388-1400 or visit them online at www.CaptainSmartypants.org.
Photo credit: Conrado Tapado