Well, Well, Hello, Linden! Linden Waddell and Marjorie Poe take over the little upstairs theatre and preside over the festivities with such energy and finesse that it’s impossible to sit “outside” the goofy song parodies of Allan Sherman’s wit and wisdom — unless you’re a rock, the invitation to go on the joyride with them is difficult to resist. Ms Waddell, unlike so many “solo-show singers”, INHABITS each character whose story is being told. Her marvelously flexible voice changes with every new persona, her comic timing is slyly spot-on, and there is so much detail in the rendering of each lyric-tale that it’s mind-bending. The patter is smart and richly delivered, as well. Ms Poe not only nimbly accompanies on keyboard, but adds terrific color and musical texture to each song’s arrangement. The shape of the piece is straightforward, but deceptively simple: it winds the facts of Mr. Sherman’s life around the songs chosen as illustration. Imagine Picasso interpreting “The Far Side”, as if those images were words set to familiar music.
What I didn't like
My overall impression
The brightly-paced 55 minute cabaret-as-theatre, gleefully directed and choreographed by Janet Miller, is honest to its source. Mr. Sherman’s ideas and wordplay (much as those of his contemporary Tom Lehrer) may seem a little precious from time-to-time, but at the SAME time allow the audience to enjoy cultural references and situations which spark an intelligent laugh, a caring sigh, and above all, a chance to enjoy three originals: Mr. Sherman, Ms. Poe, and particularly, the remarkable Ms. Waddell.