Barista! A Cabaret of Caffeinated Proportions
Presented by Chi Chi Manfred Productions
Reviewed: 2008-07-18 11:58:29
By: Leila Marston (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Barista's opening number extols the sassy attitude of "Black Coffee," but the show overall is more of a mixed roast - and so, I suppose, will be my review.
To their credit, the actors were obviously having a marvelous time during their performance. After a somewhat slow start, they came to life and played their characters with animation and self-effacing humour. Two particular moments were spectacularly funny: an over-the-top paean to the "latte boy" and a hilariously mocking ending.
The main problem with this show is the script. The non-latte-boy songs were sometimes repetitive or trite, and much of the dialogue seemed forced, descending into moralistic preaching at several points. It's as if the writers couldn't decide whether to approach the pithy coffee-shop atmosphere from a campy, touching, sarcastic, or corny perspective, and settled for an uneasy blend of all four.
A tighter, more unified script would raise this promising concept to an excellent cabaret; as the show currently stands, I left the theatre feeling mildly entertained but not inspired.
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