La MaMa presents a musical extravaganza by '80s pop star Kid Creole about one man's loss, another man's gain, and the powerful women who made it all possible. More…
This madcap, semi-autobiographical adventure features music by August Darnell (better known as the front man for the band Kid Creole and the Coconuts) and Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band. Set in New York City and the Caribbean in the '80s, the show explores dark themes (abandonment, sibling rivalry, unrequited love) and titillation (sexual healing, the pursuit of happiness) while inviting you to shake your head and tap your toes to neo-urban-jungle grooves.
"August Darnell had another dream: to put a musical on stage. That fantasy blossomed into 'Cherchez La Femme' in front of a crowd who could not help but get up and dance by the end...The young ensemble's choreography was expertly put together by Kyndra Reevey...Another ingredient to make 'Cherchez La Femme' more special as a production is longtime fans of Kid Creole and the Coconuts are also treated to several Easter eggs throughout the story." Full Review
"With live vocals accompanying prerecorded tracks, the show takes us from the Pudd Cub (based on the NYC new wave haven the Mudd Club) all the way to an appearance on 'Sunday Nite Live' (you can figure what that’s based on), all colorfully costumed by Coconuts’ cofounder (and Darnell’s ex wife) Adriana Kaegi, who invited me to see the show at La MaMa. The result is light and lively, if broader than a zoot suit’s shoulders." Full Review
"Although performed with infectious gusto, the musical features a plot that’s both scattered and labored...The dialogue, while sometimes frisky and funny, is also overwritten and often seems to be going in circles...The up-tempo musical numbers give the convoluted plot nice jolts of energy and are danced with ebullient relish by the cast. But 'Cherchez La Femme,' unlike Kid Creole’s best songs, never really finds a comfortable groove." Full Review
"The music is recorded, but the singing is live and jumpin’—the party is in full swing...The many threads of the story require a suspension of disbelief...Other aspects are also less than credible...The music is where the juice is...While it’s evident director Kristic brought a lot to the production, some editing of the extraneous stories is needed...'Cherchez La Femme' has some really good bones—just a few too many to give it the long run it deserves." Full Review
"Accurately described in its program as 'a musical excuse', which is fair…The vibrant music has been accessorized with a thin plot that flirts between being a throwback to early Broadway (the early ones which don’t get revived because they are too simple or incoherent) and just plain old fashioned...The show’s sexual politics are squirm-inducing to say the least, proving that this Kid Creole musical had a lot of maturation to do before it was ready for an adult stage." Full Review
See it if the Kid Creole catalogue appeals, in a well meaning but uneven yet entertaining show with great dancing. An early draft that needs cutting.
Don't see it if enduring a work in progress doesn't appeal, or needlessly complicated plot lines & weak dialogue upset, in spite of a game, uneven cast.
See it if The title song was a great fave of mine. A hokey script is draped around it. The star, Isaac Gay, is talented and nice to look at
Don't see it if The music is recorded. The live singing sounds weird over it. The show would have been better if it was simply a concert. Some fine music.
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