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Michael Kirk Lane: Now You Know

| December 3, 2015

Michael Kirk Lane

Now You Know

Laurie Beechman Theatre, NYC, October, 26, 2015

Reviewed by Rob Lester for Cabaret Scenes

Michael-Kirk-Lane-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212A cabaret show that will likely make you feel shocked, sympathetic, enlightened, sad, stunned, outraged, warned, worried, inspired…AND amused? In cabaret, anything is possible. It’s sort of like life, but with a two-drink minimum. And Michael Kirk Lane’s Now You Know is an eye-opening, jaw-dropping, Kleenex-grabbing, knee-slapping affair. It’s his own true story of a long, dragged-out affair (No, not the romantic kind) he got dragged, pushed and pummeled into. While attending classes at a school he does not name, he is falsely accused of something and in an unfair Twilight Zone-ish spin, his world and hopes are turned upside down in an unjust “justice” system with systemic problems. Lucky to have survived to tell the spirit-sagging saga few knew, he tells the cautionary tale of woe with restraint and thoughtfulness…and toe-tapping tunes.

There’s some gallows humor that only time’s passage or a savvy director might allow. Comedy expert Jay Rogers brings that guiding hand, making sure the autobiography captivates in many ways. The super support team: musicians William TN Hall (piano) and Tynan Hooker-Haring  (bass) and co-stars Laura Pavles and Jon Satrom sing solidly with the star (who also finds himself in a devilish predicament in the current musical playing nearby, Hell’s Belles). The ever-youthful Lane is cherubic, charming, challenging, cheering. He sings well, in this well-played, fast-paced picture of lawyers and soul-destroyers. Stephen Sondheim’s sobering “Life is crummy” reality check from Merrily We Roll Along allows a double-meaning meaningful title song and Chicago’s “Cell Block Tango” puts the ironic “sense” in “innocence.” And there’s so much more. This nail-biter head-scratcher is also, oddly, a rib-tickler. Look for this show to return early-ish in the new year!

Surprisingly life-affirming (with Mame’s “It’s Today”), it’s also damn brave.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews

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