Reviewed by Émilie Charlebois
I am still laughing about Between Gossip and Dreams the day after. The only problem is it was meant to be a dramatic musical. It was also the kind of drama that took itself waaayyyy too seriously and desperately tried to be deep and profound. I can’t help but suspect that director/writer/composer Clint Earle would get along famously with The Room’s Tommy Wiseau. And just like The Room, if you were to get shmammered and watch Between Gossip as a comedy, you would have a blast. I think there may have been an entire row of people attending who were doing just that and once I caught on to it, I had to suppress giggles for the rest of the performance.
Another cue I should have taken from another audience member was to walk out when the lights went out for a brief moment. I prayed the opportunity would present itself again, but alas, it did not, and not wanting to distract or frazzle the performers any more than they already were, I stayed.
Oh the humanity! I can’t even describe what this thing was about, it was totally incomprehensible. It involved Nazis and a forbidden love between an American Western actor and a German drag queen…and something about soldiers in Iraq? Hilarious, I know! Key things like trying to make us believe they were in Germany by speaking with German accents were overlooked…oh no, that’s right they did say Dan-ka.
Speaking of believable, not a single emotion or reaction was convincingly communicated; most of the cast looked bored with themselves and delivered their lines as though they were reading them for the first time. The whole thing felt like a highschool production. I literally put Tiger Balm on my neck for entertainment…and to make sure I hadn’t died and gone to hell. The instrumental arrangements were good, but the singing was over-the-top, off key and off tempo. And even with headsets (of yes, Broadway style) it was hard to hear or understand what all the singing was about. I do remember everyone singing something like “Are you a Bridge or are you Wall”… Gah-rrooaaaan!