BWW Review: LOVE AND OTHER LURES by Dr. Dour & Peach At Capital Fringe Festival
In 2014, Dr. Dour (Toby Mulford) and Peach's (Rachel Spicknall Mulford) The Monster Songs was my very first Capital Fringe Festival experience. In the intervening three years, Dr. Dour and Peach have settled securely into their niche brand of musical comedy-noir.
Dr. Dour, an ethnocryptozoomusicologist, and his bumbling, sweet-natured assistant Peach write and perform songs about monsters. Their routine is somewhat slapstick but far less self-deprecating and much more subtle than in years past.
Girly and upbeat, Peach is decked out in a dress fluffy from many layers of colorful tulle and a big purple bow in her hair. Dr. Dour, his face painTEd White, is a somber, academic man dressed like a Victorian ghost. He keeps a tight reign on his spacy assistant who is often at odds with his agenda. Peach insists that Love and Other Lures are songs about love but Dr. Dour makes it plain; these are songs about people lured to places where they shouldn't be.
In Love and Other Lures, Dr. Dour sings and alternately plays the ukulele and the 10-string touch guitar. Peach takes on the cello and banjo. Both Dr. Dour and Peach are accomplished musicians and no aspect of their musicality or originality of composition is in question by this reviewer.
Dr. Dour and Peach perform eight songs, many of them crowd-favorites, in an array of musical genres, including cabaret, British pop, and jazz. Their songs are smart and jam-packed with word-play, euphemisms, wisecracks and metaphors. They are adept at spotting monsters in everyday life.
Their first tune, "Suckers," is about a dad whose daughter is dating vampires, or "suckers," because, why not? Everyone loves a vampire! Peach trades in her cello for a banjo for the country-western ballad "The Ballad of Ben and Bill," the saga of an alligator hunter in the bayou, notable for a whimsical interlude of psychedelic stuffed animal puppetry.
In "The Pharaoh's Croon", Dr. Dour and Peach channel a lovesick mummy crooner in a Mediterranean nightclub. Feather boa across her shoulders, Peach sings (for the first and sadly, the last time) the jazz tune "On the Rocks," about a siren that keeps "killing" her lovers.
Dr. Dour and Peach are most comfortable and at their funniest in the wordy country-western genre. They end the show (amid emphatic, premature applause) with the crowd-pleaser "The Ballad of Johnny Roller and the Bones," the ballad of a man who battles zombies.
The hour with Dr. Dour and Peach ends far too quickly. Love and Other Lures is a truly original, DC-based (there's good monster-watching here) comedic enterprise with the capacity to just keep giving to anyone who craves an alternate reality in which love with a monster is possible, if deadly.
Running Time: 1 hour, no intermission
For more information on show times and tickets for LOVE AND OTHER LURES click here.