Monday, June 28, 2010
Rick Skye ~ Revue captures the essence of Minnelli
Published: June 26, 2010
Rick Skye wrote and directed this solo revue that is equal parts tribute and parody.
But most of all, Rick Skye is Liza Minnelli. It's not so much that he looks like Minnelli. The huge gamin eyes are easy enough to apply, as is the signature short, dark, spiky wig and the sequined outfits.
Skye has applied the requisite physical attributes, and is gifted with a pair of very shapely dancer's legs, but it isn't any of the physical attributes that make him Minnelli. At one point in the second half of this 90-minute revue, Skye stands still and turns his eyes upward and suddenly, you realize, he has embodied the essence of Liza.
Skye has mastered her gestures and mannerisms, and has himself been blessed with a powerful voice that, at times, is almost too large for the intimate confines of the Altamont Avenue theater space. It is apparent that Skye loves playing the role of Liza Minnelli.
"A Slice O' Minnelli" is a balanced blend of classic Minnelli and parody, connected with a chain of biographical data and Minnelli-esque patter, sharpened with double entendre and an edgy commentary that is, at times, too fast to hear.
Highlights of the first half of the revue are "Mein Chair," a racy parody of "Mein Herr," and a touching but hilarious song about a woman in love with a man who uses sign language. The second half includes an audience-pleasing medley of Judy Garland and Minnelli classics, including "Life is a Cabaret" and "When You Wish Upon a Star," as well as songs by Minnelli's godmother, Kay Thompson, whose work Minnelli included in her comeback album.
Throughout the revue, Skye is accompanied by a very agreeable Michael Ferreri, who occasionally yet humbly manages to steal a well-deserved moment of his own.
The audience was diverse, the laughter free-flowing and frequent, and the applause long and genuine. Even those who are not great fans of Minnelli can enjoy this well-paced, edgy revue.
Julinda Lewis is a teacher, dancer and writer who lives in eastern Henrico County. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.