PHOTO: Frank Hermans, from left, Pat Hibbard, David Gusloff and Tom Verbrick are featured male performers in Let Me Be Frank Productions’ “Mixed Couples/Golden Bowl.” Let Me Be Frank’s photo
The show runs through June 21 at the
As all Frank’s shows, “Mixed Couples/Golden Bowl” is playful. The setup is it’s the late ’70s/early ’80s in
Back-to-back WOW scenes early on set the table for eagerness to see more of what’s in store.
Cast: Frank Hermans, Pat Hibbard, David Gusloff, Tom Verbrick, Kelly Gusloff, Kasey Corrado and Amy Riemer.
Band: Dennis Panneck, guitars; Adam Cain, drums; Tony Pilz, keyboards; and Pat Hibbard, bass.
“I Was Made for Dancing” (Leif Garrett), David Gusloff
“Treat Me Right” (Pat Benatar), Amy Riemer
“Brandy” (Looking Glass), Pat Hibbard
“Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight” (ABBA), Kasey Corrado
“Take On Me” (A-ha), Frank Hermans
“Morning Train” (Sheena Easton), Kelly Gusloff
“Whip It” (Devo), Tom Verbrick, Frank Hermans, David Gusloff
“You Make Loving Fun” (Fleetwood Mac), Kasey Corrado
“Dreamgirls” (from Broadway show “Dreamgirls”), Kelly Gusloff, Kelly Gusloff, Amy Riemer
“Shake Your Groove Thing” (Peaches and Herb), All
“Power of Love” (Laura Branigan), Amy Riemer
“Edge of Seventeen” (Stevie Nicks), Kasey Corrado
“Endless Love” (Diana Ross and Lionel Richie) David Gusloff and Kelly Gusloff
“How Do You Do” (Mouth and McNeal), Frank Hermans and Amy Riemer
“Follow You” (Genesis), Frank Hermans
“Don’t Do Me Like That” (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Pat Hibbard
“I Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love Tonight” (The Outfield), David Gusloff
The first powerhouse scene comes from David Gusloff. He bursts with fast, flashy, tricky dance moves in “I Was Made for Dancing.” The scene is a rush of joy/energy.
Amy Riemer is next in one of her killer roles. She plays a Goth girl – long black hair, heavy black eye shadow, black net stockings and arm wraps and black boots amid a dark-hearted demeanor from which she can never draw a smile. Never. In the role of the classic misfit, Amy Riemer builds meaning into every song. Her voice is dark-chocolate dense, often powerful, often searing. Her hands move artistically, akin to the way dancers from exotic lands pour symbolism and expression into the slightest movement of fingers, a hand, a wrist, an arm. The motions are part of her portrait-painting. If you close your eyes to take in the wonder of Amy Riemer’s singing, you miss the full picture of what she does. Her long notes maintain brilliance, and there are lots of them throughout the night. “Treat Me Right” is Amy Riemer’s first excursion in the show into exploring how a song can shape a character – and how a character can shape a song. Shhh, don’t tell anybody, but these Frank’s shows are Amy Riemer’s playground for taking popular songs and interpreting new life and fullness into them – sometimes beyond the capabilities or possibilities of the original artist.
All the singers have characters to build songs around. Kasey Corrado and Pat Hibbard are a couple of goofuses. David Gusloff and Kelly Gusloff are sweet lovebirds. Frank Hermans is the big-headed jock type, with he and the ever-dark Amy Riemer matched up for oil-and-water tension. Tom Verbrick is a world-weary type – and springboard to a vamp of the goofy-hatted Devo antics in “Whip It.”
Picking out a few other juicy moments:
- The Gusloffs (husband and wife)* in the warm and gushy romance of “Endless Love.”
- Frank Hermans and Amy Riemer (husband and wife) in the give and take of “How Do You Do,” spiced with nuances you may have never before knew existed.
- Solos (often laced with knowing backup singing) by Kasey Corrado in “Edge of Seventeen,” Frank Hermans with a boosted falsetto in “Take On Me,” Kelly Gusloff in “Morning Train.”
“Dreamgirls” is a huge number. It’s
Topping everything off is the finale, “
* David Gusloff proposed to Kelly Haddad Gusloff on stage at the Meyer during a Frank’s show in 2010. They married and today have a son, Vincent Thomas.
REST OF SEASON: “Bay Beach Dance Party,” July 25-Aug. 23; “The
THE VENUE: The
THE PEOPLE: Robert Meyer was president and chief executive officer of Tape Inc. of
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