My old Grand Dad told me once when I was a lad that there was nothing like a good vice. “It'll clean up the complexion and purify the blood.” Words of wisdom from an old geezer who lived to be forty-seven. Too bad he didn't live long enough to catch Vices: A Love Story at the Caldwell Theatre. He would have made ninety-eight, still applauding this terrific show.
Give thanks to Susan Draus, Everett Bradley (he performed the brilliant “Some Like It” at this year's Carbonell Awards Show), Michael Heitzman and Ilene Reid who wrote the music and Heitzman and Reid who wrote the story. And give thanks, too, to director Clive Cholerton who brought the show back to open Caldwell's winter season.
The erotically electric dancing by Albert Blaise Cattafi and Holly Shunkey (she won the 2010 Carbonell for Best Actress in a Musical for this show in its previous incarnation) is the stem around which Vices revolves, tracing their relationship through first meeting, seduction, marriage, temptation and heartbreak. Choreographer AC Ciulla also won a 2010 Carbonell for his work here.
The story may sound ordinary but the rocket presentation is extraordinary. There are twenty musical numbers featuring Cattafi and Shunkey joined by Carlos L. Encinias, Danielle Lee Greaves, Lara Janine and Will Lee-Williams. All sing and dance well. Each have solo numbers and here they shine, but unfortunately, on opening night, when singing as an ensemble the voices were muddied and words became difficult to discern.
The eclectic music in Vices is played by the excellent band co-directed by Eric Alsford (piano) and Caryl Ginsburg Fantel (piano) with Jackie De Los Santos (bass), Roy Fantel (drums) and Greg Chance (guitar).
Tim Bennett's scenic design and John D. Halls lighting, are as usual, the very best, as is the work of Projection Designer Sean Lawson.
Vices: A Love Story is a slickly original musical review, entertaining for every one of its ninety minutes.
See it at The Caldwell Theatre through December 12. 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton.
Call 561.241.7432 or 877.245.7432 or visit www.caldwelltheatre.com.
Cast photo by Roger Martin.