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BWW Review: With EXTRA! EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead

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The topic of musical theater is more prevalent than the chosen theme of Scott Raneri's new show.

BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead

In his new show EXTRA! EXTRA!, which debuted last night at The Triad, Scott Raneri tells the audience that he will be focusing on his work as an actor and, specifically, on his work as an extra, doing "background" work in film and television. All of the wonderful artwork designed for the show presents the interesting premise, giving one a strong suggestion that this is a great idea for a cabaret show. Clearly, Raneri has a gift for show themes and an eye for marketing, as evidenced by his previous show THE MARVELOUS MR. MARZO and this current one, which has all the ingredients for a great act, starting with the main ingredient, Scott Raneri himself.

BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead A longtime musical theater actor with a respectable number of credits on his resume, Mr. Raneri informs his audience that he has never landed the lead role in a musical play, that he has been relegated to second-string parts for the entirety of his acting career. During his musical production at The Triad, it is blatantly obvious that someone in the casting department is missing an opportunity because Scott Raneri has a voice that is both pleasant and powerful (underline powerful). The voice, reminiscent of 1930's Big Band singers, is lovely to listen to, it has certainly been well trained, and (again) there are some real money notes that Scott shows off, rather with some ease. Throughout the course of his club act, this writer made a list of roles he would like to see Scott Raneri play: Emcee, Amos Hart, George M., there is even a possibility that Scott Raneri would be good as an on-stage version of Bobby Darin, especially given his mode of dress and of performing in Extra! Extra! Mr. Raneri's cabaret presence last night was like something out of the sixties, out of club act in Vegas or Atlantic City - there were theatrical elements to his style that were a little hammy at times, a little cheesy at others... and everyone knows that ham and cheese are a winning combination. That is certainly true with Raneri, especially on comedy numbers like "Where Was I When They Passed Out Luck" and "Last One Picked," both of which were highlights in the show, as was "Everybody Wants To Do A Musical" - all numbers that, as it happens, occur in the same section of the show. Scott's got chops vocal and comedic, and it's obvious.

BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead He also has acting chops that are on serious display during a Janis Ian number that seems out of place with all the Broadway tunes... but only for a moment. Raneri and Musical Director Fred Barton pieced this one together with expert caretaking that pays off, and any person in casting would be well convinced to give the chorus boy his shot at the lead. The only problem is that Scott spends more time talking about the opportunities missed and the big dreams he has and has had than he does talking about his work as an extra, which (again) is a wonderful topic for a show. All told, by the end of the program, the cumulative amount of time Scott spent talking about being an extra amounted to maybe eight or nine minutes woven in and out of songs that didn't really have anything to do with the stories - stories about background work that are good, interesting, entertaining, and well-told, except for one anecdote about Tony Shalhoub that Scott and director Mark Corpron should seriously think about expurgating before the show moves any further - the light it casts on Raneri is unbecoming. Were the twosome to revisit the script and add in some more rhetoric on the actual subject of being an extra acting in film and television, the piece they are creating could soar to great heights.

BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead While at the drawing board, re-examining their script, the duo responsible for Raneri's debut act and this one might also take a look at Scott's connection with the audience. There is plenty of evidence that Scott has no trouble looking into the eyes of the people in the front row, which is important in a cabaret room where intimacy is the most important boon of the art form, but Scott could use a little practice at talking with the crowd, rather than at them. He and Mark seem to place an unnecessary emphasis on wit and on punchlines, sacrificing a vital amount of sincerity needed to bring Scott to the audience - not the other way around, because the audience is with Scott, the entire time. He is extremely (underline it) likable and relatable, and he has talent and earnestness, rather making it impossible to not like him. But a show that touches on dreams not realized, on opportunities missed, and on the ongoing quest to rise above the disappointment to keep on going must have more sincerity than humor, otherwise, it begins to savor of bitterness. Talking about not getting the gig, or losing the guy, or making the mistake doesn't sound like complaining when you're looking someone in the eye and telling them the truth; when it is made into a joke, there is always going to be a question mark in the Air Of Cynicism. More than once last night Mr. Raneri lost his way in his monologue, indicating that it isn't in his muscle yet, and that is probably because the script isn't authentic to him. Chances are that if he switched out the humor for some Raneri authenticity, those conversations with the audience would roll right off his tongue, particularly if fashioned as conversations rather than Bob Hope Esque wisecracks with a setup and punchline.

BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead Mr. Raneri is a lovely musical storyteller who is on his sophomore cabaret production, an ambitious one with a three-piece band and big concept, and that's a lot of weight to carry. Last night Scott Raneri took a chance, and he did himself and his people proud. If (by some happenstance) the casting directors of the musical theater stage continue to pass him over for jobs he wants and roles he can and should play, he can make himself a home on the cabaret stage, and no mistake - he's got the goods. But now, early in the game, is the time to begin defining his voice as a cabaret artist - who he is on that stage, and what kind of storyteller he wants to be. In the opinion of this writer, Scott Raneri could rise to the heights, he just has to stay focused, and stay the course.

Scott Raneri EXTRA! EXTRA! Plays The Triad again on November 7th at 3 pm. For information and tickets vist the Triad website HERE.

THIS is the Scott Raneri website.

BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead

BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead BWW Review: With EXTRA!  EXTRA! At The Triad Scott Raneri Proves He Can Play The Lead Photos by Stephen Mosher


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