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Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES

The Guy Group of Don't Tell Mama servers returns to the stage with an incredible new show.

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES

They are smart. They are sexy. They are silly. They are gifted. They are funny. They are talented. They are adorable. They are Mama's Boys, and they returned to the stage of the Don't Tell Mama Original Room on Friday night after being off for the entire duration of the pandemic, except for some rather uncomfortable appearances on the stoop during the sidewalk dining days of the health crisis. It was a one-night-only performance during which The Boys - Tommy J. Dose, Brian Kalinowski, Paul Pilcz, and Jon Satrom - reunited for a good old-fashioned Standing Room Only crowd that needed, quite desperately, to see them in action, once more. This writer that missed their pre-pandemic shows and who was seeing Mama's Boys for the first time now fully understands the popularity of the group and why all those people had to cram themselves into Don't Tell Mama for another chance to see The Boys.

Mama's Boys are wonderful.

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES That is to say, the four men who make up the Mama's Boys group are wonderful. The group Mama's Boys is wonderful. When you use proper grammar in two different sentences, the meaning is very different - but it is true and it is valid, however you say it. MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE 80S is a fabulous show, and the men and the group that performed that show are simply marvelous. There can be no critique of the men, the group, or the show because they are all completely worthy of an SRO crowd at this or any nightclub. This is quality entertainment, and if it were a gemstone, every facet would shine brilliantly. This can't be a one-off - it isn't fair. The year 2022, the club-goers of NYC, and the community of cabaret and concert artists all need more chances at seeing Mama's Boys in action.

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Mama's Boys is a guy group made up of four singing actors who work and/or have worked at Don't Tell Mama as singers and servers. The folks at Don't Tell Mama being a family, the four men became close friends and, after DTM colleague Tara Martinez made a whimsical passing comment about the men forming a group, the four decided to go for it. That first show that The Boys did was such a hit that their little group became an overnight sensation. Everyone loved them. Then came the lockdown, and two years later they are back together doing their seventy-minute lovefest to the Eighties, and it's a show that they could take out on the road, honestly. The material is eminently marketable (who doesn't love Eighties music?), they are working with what basically amounts to be a rock band, their Musical Director and arranger Elliot Roth has provided them with arrangements that one would expect to hear from a full-time touring group, and the men themselves all possess that amazing thing, that essential quality, that paramount factor that makes a group show a hit: all four men are professional singers.

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Have you ever been in a club and listened to a group show where not all of the singers were bonafide professional singers? Maybe they couldn't blend? Maybe they couldn't harmonize? Maybe they didn't know how to pull back when they were on background vocals so that the soloist would be the focal point of the number? Then you know. There is none of that here. These boys are all soloists and all choral singers. They are all actors, and they are all professionals. They have everything that is needed to make a show like this work - especially humor. Because, The Eighties. It was a funny decade, sometimes even ridiculous. Just look at The Boys' costumes. Just listen to their patter. Just dive into their medleys. Oh my gosh, the medleys. The medleys, the medleys, the medleys.

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES There are three medleys in this program. They are based on the pop culture of the time, they are spectacularly arranged by Roth and performed by The Boys, and they are chock-a-block with songs that everyone knows. The nature of the medleys? The topics? The source material? No, no. No spoilers. This reporter is determined to get Mama's Boys and this show back on the stage for a second round (Third? Fourth? Anyone?) and there can be no spoilers for future audiences. Suffice it to say: if you are a child of the Eighties or a retro fanatic, you will know every song in each of the three medleys, and you will want to sing along.

As for the rest of the show, it is a series of songs from the decade that one might have heard on the radio, in the movies, at the LIVE AID concert, on MTV, or on your Sony Walkman. There is pop music, dance music, and there are power ballads galore. The men sing most of the show together but each Boy gets a solo spot, while the others give him all the support he needs, vocally and spiritually, and there is not one wrong move made, not vocally, not personally, and not comedically.

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES On the subject of comedy: during their curtain call thank yous, Paul Pilcz thanked the audience for coming because "Without you, we would just be four husky men singing in an empty room." Since Paul introduced the topic of the physical appearance of Mama's Boys into the room, there is something that should be said. In the Eighties, there was a comic actor named Chris Farley who had a robust build, like the men of Mama's Boys. Mr. Farley used his body for his comedy, he used his size to make people laugh, but the people who weren't laughing were other people of size who were hurt by the jokes and hurt by the laughter. It would be a mistake for anyone looking at the photos in this review or any publicity art for Mama's Boys to think that there is any kind of humor of that nature in their show. There is comedy in the program that is organic to the men, to their relationships with one another, to the circumstance of The Eighties, but there is nothing remotely self-deprecating about the content of the show. This is a music show. It is a show about four best friends, four colleagues, four artists who speak the same shorthand - it is informed by love and respect, and it is built on talent. The Boys are having fun, but they aren't making fun: they have come to have a good time and to give a good time, and to make gorgeous, glorious music.

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES And although all of the men are stunningly wonderful in Mama's Boys (Heart) The Eighties, special mention must be made of Tommy J. Dose (hereafter to be referred to as "The Voice") for bringing all the drama, and all the vocals, and all the beauty to a Bonnie Tyler dance track turned Aria Melodramitica. In an evening of superb music, Dose and co. use this number to swoop you up into the delicious drama, heart and all, faster than you can say "Ren McCormack."

Mamas Boys (Heart) The Eighties was, as previously mentioned, a one-off. Each of The Boys has a gig, a path, a goal, something that has their primary focus right now, and rehearsals for a show of this nature take time, so there is every chance that the people who filled the Original Room at Don't Tell Mama are the only ones who will get to see this showcase of Eighties frivolity. Maybe not. Maybe there will be a change and a remounting of the show. This writer hopes so because these four men may be Mama's Boys but they belong to everyone.

Editor's Note: When this article went to press, we neglected to include the names of the MAMA'S BOYS band. We apologize to them for the oversight, for which I take full responsibility - SM.

The Mama's Boys Band members are Matt Cusack on Bass, Chris Heinz on Drums, and Musical Elliot Roth on piano.

Find great shows to see on the Don't Tell Mama website HERE.

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES
Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES
Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES
Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES

Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Review: Sold-Out Don't Tell Mama Crowd (Hearts) MAMA'S BOYS (HEART) THE EIGHTIES Photos by Stephen Mosher


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