“It’s more a show than a play,” explains our friendly neighborhood barkeep at the Hose House Firehouse Pub last night, during the performance of Side-By-Side: A Musical Entertainment celebrating the musical stylings of Stephen Sondheim. Opening night saw a lively audience enjoying their complimentary beverages and bar snacks throughout the performance. Five cast members (four women, one man) sing their way through over 30 Sondheim works from the likes of Company, Follies, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, and West Side Story, with exposition provided behind the bar.
All five cast members get their chance to shine throughout the performance and, in their turn, deliver performances that were at times sentimental and touching, and other times hilarious and provocative. This audience member’s favorite numbers, those memorable songs that I found myself humming the next day, included cast member Kathleen Wackowski’s “I Never Do Anything Twice,” a bawdy number filled with innuendo and double entrendres. Another personal favorite was Lisa Tierney’s rapid-fire rendition of “Getting Married Tonight” which follows a nervous bride who has gotten a serious case of cold-feet.
Colonial Chorus will be putting on an additional four performances of Side-By-Side, on February 3, 9, 10, and 11th at 7:30pm at the Old Hose House, 1249 Main Street, Reading MA. Tickets are available HERE for $20 or $18 for students and seniors. Get out tonight and support your local community theatre!