BWW Review: FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE at Alhambra Theatre And Dining

BWW Review: FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE at Alhambra Theatre And Dining

"Beware.Brother.Beware" Five Guys Named Moe is in Jacksonville! The Tony Nominated show based on music by Louis Jordan follows Nomax, played by Jereme Raickett, who has stumbled upon hard times. Suddenly, five guys named Moe appear to show him the error of his ways. The live music, the talent, the humor made this show such a great experience, not to mention the numerous moments of interaction between the actors and the audience.

In the beginning of Act I, the audience is introduced the to the mysterious five guys, each of whom brings a special characteristic to the collective group. No Moe, played by Damien DeShaun Smith, brings a no-nonsense persona letting Nomax know his life needs to change. Little Moe, played by David Berry, brings so much humor to the group. Berry left the audience laughing after almost everything he did. Eat Moe, played by Rendell Anthony DeBose, was the most lovable chubby character that left the audience laughing with every comment about food and his crazy dance moves. Big Moe, played by Byron Glenn Willis, was perceived as a father figure from the get go. And lastly, Four-Eyed Moe, played by Darryl Reuben Hall, was the most interactive character as he referred to the audience throughout most of the show. Each song performed by the five guys brought humor along with words of wisdom for Nomax. "Beware.Brother.Beware" performed by Willis provided Nomax with wisdom on how to save his failed relationship. My personal favorite number was "Safe, Sane and Single". The song performed by all five guys was hysterical. All five were so talented in keeping with the music and the dance number. The audience could not help but enjoy it. At the end of the Act I, the audience was invited to join in "Push Ka Pi Shee Pie". Hall led the audience in the singing and had a great energy in doing so. The theatre erupted with singing and dancing that gave the audience great joy. At the end a select few were invited to participate in a conga line, each with the biggest smile on their faces.

Act II brought more of a serious tone to the show. Nomax stumbles on stage, clearly intoxicated again, and some of the guys are starting to lose hope. Little Moe asks Nomax if he has experienced life outside of his little town in "Saturday Night Fish Fry". The number provided some humor but underlined how routine can get in the way of living an exciting life. The act continued with a beautiful moment between Big Moe and Nomax in "What's the Use of Getting Sober". Though, Willis had many wonderful solos throughout the show, this was the most memorable. He provided much emotion and heart in the song that left the audience speechless. Act II continued with "The Cabaret" portion at "The Funky Butt Club" where the five guys performed many wonderful songs including two songs the audience participated in. The first was "Caldonia" performed by Willis, where the audience in the Funky Butt Club were asked to answer his lyrics throughout the song. The second was "Look Out, Sister", where four female audience members were asked to come on stage and interacted with Hall. Hall remained in character throughout the entire portion. He was superb at improv, and rolled with anything the four ladies on stage gave him. The end of Act II was Nomax's conversion to become a better person. "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?" was a beautiful performance by all six of the actors and brought the entire show together. As Nomax returns to Lorraine, the love of his life, and promises to change his ways.

Five Guys Named Moe was a wonderful and engaging experience, inviting the audience into its world. The performance was absolutely superb by all six actors and the live band was a special treat. Five Guys Named Moe will be at Alhambra now through May 6.

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From This Author Jordan Higginbotham

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