Two time MAC Award nominee, Michael Kirk Lane reprised his optimistic show Glass Half Full, at Don’t Tell Mama, September 10, 2018.
Entering to the tune Life’s a Happy Song (B. McKenzie) Lane immediately established the tone of his show with this fun, uplifting song. Frivolity continued with High Hopes (S. Chan, J Van Heusen) as Lane showed off both comic timing and facial expressions that would certainly givoe another (currently more famous) Mr. Lane quite a run for his money.
It is said that great comedy is born out of great pain. And, Lane’s show captured his own pain, a democratic pain, and mourning for the state of our union. And yet, this show remains hopeful, always looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.
In both a comical and moving coupling of Orange Colored… (Sky) (M DeLugg, W Stein) and Anthem, from Chess, (B. Andersson, T. Rice, B. Ulvaeus), the later proved to be more moving and relevant than I would have guessed.
Turning quickly back to comedy, Lane continued with a witty rendition of He’s A Trump, set to Disney’s He’s a Tramp, with additional lyrics by Elaine Brier, and Lane himself, and ably assisted by the lovely voiced Laura Pavles. The comedy continued with Republicans (W. Finn) and Kander & Ebb’s classic Class (From CHICAGO), the duet well matched with tenor Sean Bernardi.
Of particular note, however, was Paul Simon’s My Little Town, and Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a Changin’, both sung movingly well, and with beautifully executed harmonies, arranged by Music Director William TN Hall.
On the lighter side, was the Epic Broadway Medley, which was sung well, but was a curious addition within the theme of the show. And, although the conceit was established, (surfing YouTube as a coping mechanism), the 180 degree turns in the music (sometimes on a single word), were a bit challenging.
The evening ended with a heartfelt rendition of Morning Glow (S. Schwartz). And encored with Laughing Matters, from When Pigs Fly, which was originally sung by Lane’s own Director, Jay Rogers. Interesting to note, that even before this encore. Mr. Lane’s comic stage persona did remind me of a younger Jay Rogers, a perception I trust Mr. Rogers would be very proud of.
Glass Half Full reprises October 20, 2018 @ Don’t Tell Mama, 7pm and is well worth a visit.