Enjoying Neal Medlyn's presentation of Her's a Queen
last night at TBA
's The Works required patience–a lot
of patience. What was supposed to be a 30-minute opening act for Miguel Gutierrez's DEEP Aerobics
dance party dragged on for over twice that long, and what many in the audience expected to be a hilarious interpretation of the endlessly entertaining career of Britney Spears
turned out to be, in essence, two dudes rolling around on the floor occasionally interrupted by long, vague stories and Medlyn's shrill, screechy songs.
Contributions from his pals Carmine Covelli and Farris Craddock hardly helped the situation. Craddock's music was repetitive, and either too loud or two soft, and his (very) subtle allusions to pop songs were lost under Medlyn's voice. Perhaps if the songs had sounded in any way distinct from one another, the show wouldn't have felt so tedious.
As far as Covelli is concerned, I found his video camera projection work a nice addition to the show, but when he revealed himself to be a character as well as a stage hand, he managed to steal the show from Medlyn. His character, a bear/baby whose stomach exploded to reveal Bits o' Honey candies, actually engaged with the audience, commanding a presence that Medlyn's shifty eyes and neurotic body jerks couldn't grasp.
In the end, even flashes of Medlyn's penis and a participatory cuddle party weren't enough to keep the audience awake. True story: I glanced over to my left about halfway through the show to see a member of the audience sound asleep–while sitting in the front row. I hope he wasn't planning on staying for the aerobics.