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JOSHUA LANCE DIXON: PACK OF ONE

Saturday, January 5th – The Beach Cafe

A gorgeous voice, a well-researched script in a beautiful setting (The Beach), a great Musical Director (Steven Ray Watkins) and a packed house with many other well-known singers…what could be better? Well, add Joshua Lance Dixon, a gorgeous man with a beautiful spirit and you have near perfection in an evening of song.

Joshua brought the house down at The Beach on Saturday, January 5th in his show, Pack of One, a play on The Rat Pack days with Joshua singing and talking about the likes of Frank, Sammy, Dean, Joey and Peter. We were told that while others called this group The Rat Pack, they called themselves The Summit or The Clan. The original Rat Pack started back with Humphry Bogart and his cronies. Like I said, it was a well-researched script. I always enjoy learning something in a show!

Opening with Viva! Las Vegas (Pomus, Shuman), with intermittent patter explaining the show concept; and with bits of informative information, he moved into Well, Did You Evah (Cole Porter) and Got A Lot of Livin To Do (Adams, Strouse) leading to what I thought was a show stopping moment (one of a few) at the top of the show. Who said you can’t have an “11:00 number” at song 5? He did a “mash-up” of Sammy David Jr’s hits, What Kind of Fool Am I and Who Can I Turn To (both Bricusse, Newley) in such a great arrangement, a true medley, that you hardly realized it was two separate tunes. The delivery of these intertwining thoughts was stunning! The voice is extraordinary and seemingly effortless. Dixon never pushes his voice… it’s just there, and beautiful!

Every song was a hit for one or the other of this group, The Rat Pack, so we got Ring-a-Ding-Ding (Cahn, Van Heusen) and Me and my Shadow (Jolson, Rose, Dreyer), a duet with Music Director, Steven Ray Watkins; and Mr. Bojangles (Walker), as well as many others. We were also told some inside information about Peter Lawford’s tortured secret into another show stopper, a dark version of Too Close for Comfort (Bock, Weiss, & Holofcener) with the verse that is rarely done. Of course, Dixon also did a great job on Fly Me to the Moon (Howard) into Come Fly with Me (Cahn, Heusen) and after a few more tunes, he ended with Everybody Loves Somebody (Coslow, Taylor, Lane). Indeed, it’s easy to fall in love with Joshua Lance Dixon! He is a rising star!

One point of critique – As mentioned above, this show did have a well thought-out and researched script. And that can be a double edged sword. Although I appreciate the craft of having a script, it also sets up a theatrical expectation that is not necessary in Cabaret. Once employed, however, this theatrical expectation needs to be maintained.  And that means no scripts on stage, and no lyric cheat sheets. Dixon did drop a few lyrics (a few times). And, he also kept checking his script throughout the show, and he lost a few lyrics later in the show as well. It’s one of my Pet Peeves but presenting as a total professional is more than just singing great.  In order to be “the whole package,” one must be completely prepared… and memorized.