Capital Fringe Review: ‘Old Time British Music Hall’ by Lauren Katz

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Hilarious, energetic, and entertaining, the British Players’ Old Time British Music Hall is a must-see event. Set in a cabaret-style and hosted by the emcee, or Chairman Malcolm Edwards, the production consists of about fifteen musical numbers that will leave you wanting more. The songs discuss a range of topics from unhappy marriages to irrational career options, but the subtle humor and high energy of the performers keeps you entertained the entire time.

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Be sure to arrive on time, because the performers waste little time drawing you into the action. A few minutes before production, an actress introduces you to the old British tradition of warming up the audience. With the help of the talented pianist Jimmy Mrose, the actress leads the audience in a rousing sing-along that is sure to get you pumped and prepared for the opening number, “Welcome to Music Hall.” The opening song was exciting and musically interesting, but what specifically caught my attention were Jaimie Breckenridge’s costumes. Her choice to put the women in flowing white dresses with splashes of bright color thrown in made for visually gorgeous production.

Even though the show lacks a story line, the actors all had high energy that helped carry me from number to number. But there were a few performers in particular that caught my attention. Malcolm Edwards was original, and created the perfect Mr. Chairman, and his jokes helped keep the energy high in between numbers. Stephanie Offut’s number entitled “Miserable Rotton Man” was lovely, and her stage presence helped push it over the top. Albert Coia showcased his incredible comedic timing through his number entitled “Yo-Yo”, which was hilarious and simply fantastic.

The British Players aim to spread British theatre throughout the American theatre scene. Not only did this jolly-good production help them meet their goal, but they also managed to make me love it. If you are interested in an hour of constant laughing and enjoyment, go see Old Time British Music Hall!

Running time: 60 minutes.
Recommended for adults only.

Old Time British Music Hall plays at The Studio Theatre’s Stage 4 – 1501 14th Street NW, in Washington, DC. For performance information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe Page.

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