Our Award: 4.5 Fringes
By Joel Markowitz
Creep, crawl, and flutter over to Petpourri, where fabulous songs about our four-legged, high-flying, creeping and slithering friends are awaiting you.
Under the superb musical direction of Frank Conlon and the vocally astounding (these guys don’t need to be miced) Laura Lewis, Ingrid Cowan, Ashley Ivey and Richard Tappen, we are enveloped with cuddly, fuzzy, warm songs that bring a smile to your face. You just want to say, “Rover, come here!” when the show is over.
The First Act, entitled “Fringe Follies,” serenades us with songs from the turn of the century, (from 1900-1920) elegantly and charmingly written and performed. My favorites were “A Snug Little Bug In a Rug,” and “Rackety Coo”-Isn’t that a great title? I was tapping and snapping along with the Coo.
The Second Act- A Cabaret Musical, consisting of 16 songs-more like a “Furry Fugue”-written in 1997 by composer Deborah Wicks La Puma and lyricist Andrea Dodds, contains some real gems – “The Bird Can Sing”- a singing bird who just won’t sing until finally a famous Sondheim tune and lyric finally squeezes out – hysterically foul play, “Love Song,” where a man finally professes his love to his love, while her hyper canine drowns out his new-found words of affection, and “Dancing on the Lawn,” about a python (That’s right Monty) that destroys a party-quite hissss-terrical stuff.
Between the fun ditties there are emotional and sad songs. This year my ex and I had to put our Cat Cosette (Yes, I named her after a depressing British musical’s waif!) to sleep, and listening to Ingrid’s heart-wrenching rendition of “Katy,” about putting an elderly dog to sleep, left me shaken.
On the lighter side, there are too many delights to mention here, so my pets, get thee to Petpourri. It’s a purr-fect way to put a wide grin on your. I’m not lion.
Here, Kitty, Kitty!
(Running time: 90 minutes)