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Sunday, May 25, 2014

KINK on the Waterfront: Vicci Martinez, Marc Broussard, and Vintage Trouble

Where to begin? I knew I'd love Marc Broussard having seen his unique brand of Bayou Soul before. And he did not disappoint. He performed a set of songs taken mostly from his first album, Carencro, but also included new songs as yet only found on his album "Live from Full-Sail University." The summer-themed tunes were a perfect complement to the unexpectedly warm night.

I had never heard of either of the other acts, Vicci Martinez, and the headliner Vintage Trouble. Both were incredible surprises. Martinez is like a female freight train, and Vintage Trouble was Classic Soul, (we also got the unexpected treat of Booker T. subbing for Vintage Trouble's ill bass player.) Vintage Trouble's lead singer bounded about the stage, and a seemingly impossible distance away from it  They played classics  as well as their own tunes, and they seemed indistinguishable, as in equally great.

Out of nowhere Vintage Trouble's lead singer made a short speech about the power of live music on the spirit, and I would whole-heartedly agree. The evening was both full of soul, (the genre), and soul-stirring.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Last Five Years @ PCS

 "The Last Five Years" is an autobiographical musical tracing the relationship of writer "Jamie" and aspiring actress "Cathy. Perhaps it was a little too autobiographical, because the inspiration for "Cathy" threatened legal action against playwright Jason Robert Brown, alleging that the musical mirrored her life to closely and violated the terms of their divorce decree.  Brown altered the lyrics to a song in order to avoid legal trouble. Ah, the perils of writing, (and getting involved with a writer.) The play employs an interesting narrative device. Jamie's story is told in chronological order, while Cathy's is told in reverse, (I must confess that I lost track of the timeline occasionally.)

 My favorite song was the devastating opener "I'm Still Hurting" a raw look at the broken heart of a person left behind. (I must note that the piano in some songs drowned out bits of dialogue, I hope that they have made slight adjustments since Opening Night.)

What's most interesting about "The Last Five Years" is that Cathy was willing to sue over her portrayal, and yet her character is the more sympathetic one. Which means that the most admirable thing about "The Last Five Years" is Brown's willingness to look far less than perfect. Not many of us would be willing to do that, and that is worth seeing.