Review: MUSE MATCH XIII: A TIME TO REVIVE Proves Blind Dates Are Sometimes Magic at The Green Room 42

Muse Match Makes Long-Overdue Return to The Green Room 42

By: Mar. 05, 2022
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Review: MUSE MATCH XIII: A TIME TO REVIVE Proves Blind Dates Are Sometimes Magic at The Green Room 42
Darius Anthony Harper

How cool would it be to have a composer write a song personally tailored to you? Cabaret performers live for those tunes that tap into their truest essence and express exactly who they are as an entertainer. That is the premise and the purpose of MUSE MATCH, a concert of new works benefiting The Musical Theatre Factory. The founder of the event, Bill Coyne described it as a "musical theatre blind date." Cabaret artists are matched up with a composer or composing team. They answer a series of in-depth questions about what believe in and what's important to them as people, and voila! a custom-made song.

MUSE MATCH XIII: A TIME TO REVIVE, as the title suggests is the 13th such evening of songs since 2014. The show last night at the Green Room 42 is indeed a revival, the first Muse Match concert in nearly 3 years. To date, the event has featured 300 performers and songwriters and produced over 200 new songs. All the proceeds benefit The Musical Theatre Factory, which incubates new musical theatre works and strives to promote inclusivity of all stripes. Last night's collection of story songs skewed generally toward the comedic.

Review: MUSE MATCH XIII: A TIME TO REVIVE Proves Blind Dates Are Sometimes Magic at The Green Room 42
Johann George

Johann George kicked off the evening with "Nothing Special" by Julia Riew, a 50's bop song about an extraordinary romance between ordinary people. Jenna Pastuszek followed this up with Spencer Robelen's "Bicoastal is the Way," a gospel-flavored rock tune about Pusturszeck's burgeoning career on two coasts and the challenges that success presents. Chad Burris sang a very funny tune by Billy Reece about the evening he spent in the one and only gay bar in "Alma, Arkansas." The moral of the song was that joy is where you find it. Daniel Maté wrote a wry song for Donna Viviano entitled "Life Hack." The interior monologue is about a woman who finds herself slowly falling for her date, who as it happens has also hacked her phone. The noir/espionage imagery is ripe for good satire.

Review: MUSE MATCH XIII: A TIME TO REVIVE Proves Blind Dates Are Sometimes Magic at The Green Room 42
Kevin Michael Murphy

Kevin Michael Murphy raised OCD to hysterical levels in Rachel Covey's "Goodnight," delivering a series of insomnia-inspired brain rants to his very drowsy partner. The overactive brain theme was picked up by Kendyl Ito, who delivered a bravura performance, belting out Kit Goldstein Grant's "Anger Issues." Paul Fujimoto's "Hello, Tomorrow" was given a wonderfully introspective reading by Kim Onah. The song was a tender anthem about the importance of hope and looking toward the future. Jackey Good gave us a welcome soprano moment with Eli Cohen's "Home," a song about a life spent the road and the appreciation of everything that is truly important. Lexi Lawson gave us a different view of domesticity in Dylan MarcAurele's "Why, Oh Why?" It's a comedic look at every mother's experience in that short developmental period where every toddler seems to have a death wish.

Review: MUSE MATCH XIII: A TIME TO REVIVE Proves Blind Dates Are Sometimes Magic at The Green Room 42
Jackey Good

My favorite tune of the evening was David Alan Thornton's "Ootu," an otherworldly rock fantasy that wouldn't have sounded out of place in the mouth of Tina Turner. Darius Anthony Harper brought exactly that level of energy to it. John-Andrew Morrison found the funny side of Grindr hook-ups in Amanda D'Archangelis & Sami Horneff's "Communicate," as he tries to arrange an assignation with a stud who speaks no English. Rachel Parker brought equality to the fore in Peter Saxe's inspiring tune " Time Has Come For Us." Ms. Parker has a beautiful voice and is a natural storyteller. The finale of the concert was a workout for the multi-talented Seth Eliser. Singing the song he wrote with James Michel Lambert & Natalie Kramer, "Right on Time," he started on piano, switched to the guitar, and ended on the drums. Impressive, indeed.

Review: MUSE MATCH XIII: A TIME TO REVIVE Proves Blind Dates Are Sometimes Magic at The Green Room 42
Rachel Parker

The quality of songwriting in MUSE MATCH XIII was consistently high. And every artist rose to the challenge of delivering. In my opinion, this is exactly where cabaret should be heading. Much as I love all the retrospectives of artists from The Great American Songbook, there is nothing more exciting than being present at the birth of a new piece of work. Bravo to Bill Coyne and The Musical Theatre Factory for adding thirteen new tunes to that Songbook last night.

For more information or to make a donation to The Musical Theatre Factory, go to mtf.nyc. For more great shows at The Green Room 42, visit greenfignyc.com.



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