BWW Review: SMORGASBORD! at Ridgefield Theater Barn
On Friday, January 31, 2020, I had the pleasure of seeing SMORGASBORD! at the Ridgefield Theater Barn in Ridgefield, CT. This musical revue has music and lyrics by Bradford Blake who is also directs the show. Under the excellent accompaniment of musical director Charles Smith on keyboard, Charles Casimiro on stand-up bass, and Robert Kogut on percussion, the talented singing cast of Anya Caravella, Robert Geils, Tracey Marble, and Zachery Theis provide a highly entertaining show comprised of song after song, each conveying its own story, without a central storyline, the songs linked only by the consistent pattern of comical food-themed lyrics.
The stage features a large tiled floor, the band in the back, and a wall containing kitchenware. There is a uniqueness to the wall's location in that rather than being at the far back of the stage, it is in front of the back of the stage area where the band plays, open in the middle so the band can be clearly seen, yet generally behind or even with the four singers.
Each song is either a solo, duet, trio, or quartet, depending on which song is being sung. Regardless, all four singers harmonize excellently with each other, and all have tight stage chemistry enhanced by brilliantly synchronized choreography. The musical styles are very diverse, including showtunes, opera, Spanish, French, Asian, Yiddish, gospel, country, Calypso, jazz, and adult contemporary. The cast excels in all these styles, and shows respect and reverence to all the cultures from which these styles originate.
My personal favorite song from the show is "Pigoletto," which is a parody medley of Italian opera (mostly) songs, including "O Sole Mio," "Torna a Surriento," "Vesti La Giubba," "La Donna e Mobile," "Tarantella," "Dance of the Hours," and others.
There is some audience participation across the fourth wall on "Chez McDonald's" a very amusing serious sounding French song.
Another highlight is "What Did They Ever Do?" an amusing yet respectful take on a vegetarian mindset.
For mature audiences, I highly recommend SMORGASBORD!, which is scheduled to continue to run at the Ridgefield Theater Barn in Ridgefield, CT, through February 29, 2020. For times and tickets, please go to https://ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org/smorgasbord/.