Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
StarBach's: The Coffee Cantata
Lovers of musical theatre — particularly the Gilbert and Sullivan style of comic operetta — will get a kick out of this frothy little musical.
The opening number is funny and bright, and gets you right into the story of uptight, smug yuppie Schlendrian (David Klassen), his lustful, “Botoxed and boob-jobbed” cougar sister, Lieschen (Naomi Forman) and the young barista at their local coffee joint, Taylor (Darren Martens). Taylor is the object of Lieschen’s affections, while Schlendrian wants his sister to settle down with someone older and more serious, and is prepared to revoke her family trust fund if she doesn’t comply.
The singing is very good, and all cast members really look their parts. However, the styles are too mixed to flow smoothly (opera abruptly switches to 1940s crooning, then to modern musical), the joke of people singing about how much they love coffee gets repetitive after several songs, the piano is miked too loudly, and the ending is very abrupt.
While certainly worth a look, some tweaks are definitely needed.
— Janice Sawka
From the official Fringe Festival guide:
The "caffeinated" version of J.S. Bach's mini-masterpiece comes to life in a 21st century coffee house. You'll meet Schlendrian, Lieschen and her secret crush - Taylor, the barista. Including additional songs glorifying our favourite morning drink and starring faculty from all three of Manitoba's music schools, it is delightful, fun and suitable for all ages.
Exchange Community Church (Venue 20), to July 24
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