Oscar E Moore

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COWBOY’S DON’T SING – FringeNYC: Disappointing collegiate level oater

August 20th, 2013 by Oscar E Moore

Thank goodness for the Fringe Festival where would be writers of musical comedies get to sow their oats.  COWBOY’S DON’T SING is in its infancy and the Fringe affords its writers (Dennis Flynn, Johnny Kelley and T.J. Alcala) to see what works and what doesn’t.  If they pay close attention they might just come up eventually with a musical that doesn’t appear to have been haphazardly put together in some Fordham University dorm room over pitchers of beer.

COWBOY’S DON’T SING aspires to pay homage to and be a satiric take on the Westerns of yesteryear.  There are some very funny bits that get lost among the very unfunny and silly plot line that has no intermission running one hour and forty five minutes that seems much longer.

But wait, our too clever for words creators have included a ten minute musical intermission that all but holds up the production as we await the continuation of the show that might be called COWBOY’S CAN’T SING – as most of the cast can’t or shouldn’t be singing.  They can’t project and they are not amplified – actors that are also in their infancy.

After a rollicking opening train ride out West (the cardboard cut out set of train Saloon and General Store is whimsical) we arrive at Tombstone Junction where Alice (Megan Beaty) is reunited with her Granddad Sheriff (Matt Van Orden) and where there are lots of killings (great gun shot sound effects) to be experienced.

Dennis Flynn has also directed with a keen eye for sight gags.

The best number is sung by Shadow (Tim Rozmus) – the horse of the Cowboy (T.J. Alcala) who won’t sing for undisclosed reasons.  Mr. Rozmus delivers his pun infused song with his mane of blond hair deadpanning all the way to the coral “One Horse Town” captures the true style of the show and is a winner.

Another funny number is a bi-lingual duet “Language Barrier” sung by Rosa (Michelle Flowers) the Spanish Saloon/Inn keeper and Max (Jeffery Sharkey) a nerdy type teacher who quotes Shakespeare with helpful written translations held by Steve Tyson who steals the show with his multiple characterizations most of whom get shot.

Max also has a great number set around his Morse Code telegraph gizmo that he has brought along that evolves into a clever tap dance.  Also included in the price of your ticket are racist jokes, Injuns and a comical horse chase.

But these highlights and boundless exuberance do not a full fledged musical make even though there is another fun bit.  Every time there is a killing the chorus sings “Let’s Celebrate”.  The music is lively but goes in one ear and out the other.

THE END.  Theatre 80 – 80 St. Mark’s Place


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