This musical has a bunch of wickedly subversive undercurrents that belies its fastidious Edwardian trappings, making it much more to my personal taste than, say, Edwin Drood. The most obvious undercurrent is right there in the title – how to be gentlemanly when pursuing serial murder – but there are others, including gay seduction in the countryside and women sharing a man. Fun stuff!
Ann Hampton Callaway is one of the most powerful singers in cabaret, and she sustains that power throughout her entire new cabaret act, “Songs I Wish I’d Written”. A songwriter herself – best known for writing and singing the theme from the TV hit The Nanny, as well as three songs for Barbra Streisand – Callaway picked only the songs she feels “writer’s envy” for, which makes for a very exciting show indeed. (Ann is also an out lesbian, who gave me the honor of being the journalist to do her “coming out interview” – you can read that here).
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Oh dear lord, the man candy in La Soirée!!! I’ve seen plenty of circus shows with half-or-more naked men, but this one delivers more toned flesh per minute than any other I’ve seen. And, for such folk as like such things, female performer Ursula Martinez goes the full monty for a magic act that gives new meaning to “nothing up my sleeve” (even though the bit wasn’t sexy for me, it was still quite funny). But the boys!!!