Monday, February 7, 2011

A Post-Show "YO!" for Five Guys Named Moe

OK, so I'm writing this after the show has closed.  I just wanted to give props to the Wilmington Drama League production that lifted my spirits on a dreary February night and kept my Arts weekend rolling.

With a near-capacity, enthusiastic and diverse house, Five Guys Named Moe gave us quite a show.  And though the storyline was a bit thin---essentially, the "Moes" magically appear to give love and life lessons to lead-character Nomax through song---it didn't matter.  The music kept you rapt.  The play featured the greatest hits of "King of the Jukebox", jazz & blues great Louis Jordan.

Tommy Fisher, in his directorial debut, put together a talented ensemble that kept the audience engaged throughout their performance.  My favorite "Moe" was Little Moe, played by Alvin A. Hall, Jr.  He was equally full of energy and voice, jumping around the stage with verve, especially during his numbers, "I Like 'Em Fat Like That" and "Saturday Night Fish Fry".  A close second were No Moe and Big Moe---played by Jerry Mumford and Andre Dion Wills, respectively---whose performances of "Messy Bessy" and "Caldonia" totally resonated with the crowd.  Mumford's and Wills' rich voices and presences were both lively and fun.

The true highlights, however, were when all five "Moe's" came together for numbers like "Safe, Sane & Single" and "Push Ka Pi Shi Pie".  Their harmonies and on-stage interactions were the strength of the show, and they played the crowd well: Act I ended in a rousing conga-line of audience members.

The show ended with a Standing Ovation from the audience, and the energy traveled into the lobby, where actors and audience mingled.  Five Guys Named Moe provided the perfect remedy for the mid-winter blues, and delivered a production that was a wonderful celebration of diversity in the Arts.

The Drama League's next performance is The Elephant Man, running March 18 through April 2.


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