GUNMETAL BLUES IS ONE HOT NEW SHOW

Kevin Smith, Anna Gravel and Brian McAloon. Photo by Audra Hatch.

Kevin Smith, Anna Gravel and Brian McAloon. Photo by Audra Hatch.

January, 2014

Of all the theater joints in Biddeford, I had to stop in at 205 Main Street to see Biddeford City Theater’s latest production—some musical called Gunmetal Blues.  I’m glad I did.

Gunmetal Blues is a delightful, suspenseful, neo-film-noir whodunit written by Actor/Director Scott Wentworth.  I know what you’re saying:  “We never heard of this musical, it’s probably not that good.”  WRONG!

Gunmetal Blues is a lightly-roasted, smokey, bluesy, mystery spoof, a perfect mid-winter escape that’ll leave you wanting to come back to see what you missed the first time.  Every moment is filled with subtle (and not so subtle) humor, slight tastefully-executed nuances to outright LOL shtick, and of course clues that’ll keep the audience racing in their minds to figure out whodunit before the truth is revealed.

With her creative eyes tuned to every detail, Director Linda Sturdivant brings this never-before-done-in-Maine show to life and magically transforms the stage into The Red-Eye Lounge—you know the place, by the airport.  It’s the place where journeys being (and end); where people are lost (and found and lost and found…); where dreams come true (or not).

The plot is driven by the Red Eye’s house crooner and pianist Buddy Toupee.  Together with lounge singer Carol Indigo, the pair changes many-a-hat, handling their multi-roles with transparency and distinction, and adding even more layers of challenges to Ace Detective Sam Galahad’s quest to find the missing blonde.

Buddy Toupee is superbly played by Kevin Smith, clearly an accomplished musician in his own right, who aptly serves as the show’s Music Director.  With expert precision, he controls the story with each new twist and turn he unfolds (or does he?).

Sam Galahad is played by Brian McAloon, a well-known talent in Southern Maine’s theater scene.  McAloon is a solid Galahad, easily toggling between the man on the mission and the man about to give up…until alas he solves the mystery.

Then there’s Anna Gravel, the blonde.  Where did this bombshell of a talent fly in from?  In addition to pristine timeless vocals, her classic Veronica Lake-esque look brings classic beauty to the stage.

Combined, the three stars make the perfect ensemble, breathing as one, completing each other’s thoughts and creating exceptional music on their adventure.  Not an easy task—make no mistake, the score by Craig Bohmler and Marion Adler is unique and challenging—but a seemingly effortless goal for these three professionals.

The on-stage cocktail lounge jazz musicians underscore the action well and add a nice depth to Director Sturdivant’s canvas:  Bill Manning on drums, Jim McGirr on bass, and Ray Libby on flute/sax.

For a refreshing and nourishing night of entertainment, make your way to The Red-Eye Lounge.  The show runs through February 2.  Tickets are $20 and are available online at www.citytheater.org or by calling 282-0849.  Orchestra seating only for this intimate production – reserve your seats today!…

Oh, and make sure you pick up the CD—it’s not available in stores.

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–Louis Philippe

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