Sunday, October 12, 2014

Reviewed in Brief: Eating Raoul

How far would you go to fulfill a dream? 

Photo Courtesy of Hennepin Theater Trust
That's the question Mary and Paul Bland are faced with in Eating Raoul, a musical that just debuted at New Century Theater. Faced with surmounting debt and depleting income, Mary and Paul are about to give up on their dream of owning a restaurant until Paul accidentally kills a man who attempts to sexually assault Mary in their home. When they discover his pockets are filled with cash, they realize that they can make a lot more money off of "bopping" the ever revolving door of swingers next door than they ever could the honest way.

Their plans are almost foiled when they are discovered by a suspicious but sexy charmer named Raoul, who makes it his mission to help the Blands - while also seducing Mary and skimming an extra profit for himself, of course. When Paul finds out Raoul intends to kill him, he takes matters into his own hands, and the Blands fulfill their dream.

Eating Raoul is admittedly a strange show, and while the description sounds serious and sordid, it attempts to be all laughs, all the time. It doesn't always deliver, but the show is performed with total commitment from each actor and retains a cheery tone despite the heavy subject matter.

Photo Courtesy of Hennepin Theater Trust
The cast is hit-or-miss. Jessica Holtan Breed (playing Mary) has a wonderful voice, and it's easy to see how she could launch into larger, more familiar musical roles (Disney princess, much?). Gregory Adam slips in and out of his disguise as the wiley Raoul more comfortably than a pilates instructor and her Ugg boots.  And although not the strongest in the vocals department, Anthony Sofie fits the bill as the hesitant but adoring husband Paul.

The supporting cast is enthusiastic but inconsistent, particularly in some more pitchy vocal moments. Still, they give the show all they have, and their exuberance goes a long way towards making Eating Raoul a fun experience.

Eating Raoul is great for anyone who loves campy shows - fans of the original Buffy, Rocky Horror Picture Show, or virtually any other seedy 1980s cult classic will eat this show up. More information about Eating Raoul and purchasing tickets can be found by clicking on this link.