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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mickey & Judy & Me

Dj Buddy B captures NYC by singing "Bongo Bongo Bongo"
The cabaret show about coming to New York with stars in our eyes, ready to conquer the show business world, and told through song, monologue and comedy, is a tradition that still lives on. It comes from the heart, yet it's as much artifice as autobiography. And, as you can see (picture, left), even Dj Buddy Beaverhausen had an act, debuting at The Duplex (at its original location on Grove St.) and making the rounds on the circuit including, at the time, The Ballroom in SoHo. Small-town boy/girl (or, at least, outsider) trying to make a splash; it's a schtick native New Yorkers can't work. (They've got their own schticks and shtories, however.)

Most recently, fresh-faced Michael Hughes arrived at The Duplex (now on Christopher and 7th Avenue) to carry on this rite of self-mythology with his show entitled, "Mickey and Judy."

This act, however, comes with a pedigree as it has already played London’s Leicester Square Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival before arriving in New York's Greenwich Village. It's been nominated for BroadwayWorld and Canadian Comedy Awards. “Critic’s Pick” said the Toronto Star, NOW Magazine (Toronto), and ScotsGay magazine of (where else?) Scotland.

"A young gay man chronicles his obsession with Judy Garland in a 'pseudo-memoir'," is how Time Out New York described the show. There may actually be more tinsel and less Garland to this act, though. Judy remains a driving force and symbol throughout, but "Mickey" Hughes' songs for this hour-long act include "Do It Again," "Some People," "Lullabye of Broadway," as well as "The Man That Got Away" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." It's about the entertainer's journey, from child obsessed with theater, cross-dressing, and Judy, to tween sent to psychotherapy by understanding parents, to his arrival, from Toronto, on the Great White Way.

Time Out's "pseudo-memoir" reference might be about Hughes' omission, in his theatrical monologue, of the fact that he was a professional child actor who appeared in films with James Marsden and Kevin Zegers, and even recorded songs, one of which was kind of a hit. It was ironically titled "It's a Hit."

Michael certainly has pizzazz, and a warm and engaging stage presence, though he may mug a bit too much for some tastes. His ad libbed moments of wit nicely balanced his theatrical, scripted monolog. Michael's tenor voice is mostly strong and uplifting, but he can do without the falsetto flourishes.

Certainly, he has charm, charisma, a serious case of the cutes and left us with a memorable evening of solid talent.

His memoirs lent solid emotional support to his songs in this well pulled together production. The legend of coming to New York with stars in our eyes, ready to conquer the show business world, goes on  ~~ and in high style.