You might think that “Fingers and Toes” a new musical by triple threat Logan Medland (Book, Lyrics and Music) is about some crazed serial killer and his collection of body part souvenirs (which might have proved more interesting) but it is about two show business type guys – Dustin “Toes” McGrath (Leo Ash Evens) a dancer who has a string of girl friends and Tristan “Fingers” St. Claire (Jonathan Monro) a romantic piano player contemplating suicide over his failed relationship with his wife Tina and his inability to finish his symphony who according to the ridiculous plot have to write a musical in two weeks and audition it for a producer that “Toes” met in a diner.
It all takes place now. Cell phones included. Not in that glorious past period that reminds us, all too briefly, of “Singing in the Rain” – Medland’s “You Might as Well Laugh” might very well be a retooling of “Make ‘Em Laugh” – his music is fun, melodic and catchy. The lyrics, less so. In fact, they tend to be towards the mundane and the tasteless, as these two Broadway wannabe’s “improvise” the writing of the score in a series of black out scenes on a set that includes an upright piano, a curtain and a chaise. I wish I could forget about the book that relies on stale humor and a silly plot which in one scene literally has a “bag of laughs” that has one groaning and yawning.
The dancing, of which there is plenty, is excellent. Choreography by Shea Sullivan that features ballet, jazz, gymnastics and tap is very entertaining and clever. Somehow director Matt Lenz pulls as much of the show together as he can.
Of course they can only get so far without the all important girl/love interest. And she is the main reason for seeing this show. Stephanie Gibson as Molly Molloy is the real triple threat here – she is beautiful with her hair down or up, an excellent singer/actress with great comic timing and a terrific dancer. Casting agents take note, check her out and find her another show.
Yes, they both fall for her despite her being engaged. To whom would let the proverbial cat out of that old bag of laughs. Fingers who has a truly great tenor voice and glib sense of humor thinks of her as his “muse” and Toes “the girl of his dreams.” Love is spoken about and sung about but somehow you don’t fall in love with the show as a whole.
But you might have to duel it out with Fingers and Toes as you fall head over heals for the wonderfully talented Stephanie Gibson aka Molly Molloy.
At Urban Stages. www.fingersandtoesthemusical.com