Chris Sloan & Gavin Esham: Broadway Campaign Spectacular

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Chris Sloan and Gavin Esham

Broadway Campaign Spectacular

The Duplex, NYC, April 2, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Chris Sloan & Gavin Esham

Christopher Sloan and Gavin Esham’s Broadway Campaign Spectacular spoofed an election campaign in the best possible way. Complete with campaign promises, origin stories, and donation pleas—along with plenty of drama—there were times that even music director Michael Harren couldn’t hold his laughter. In this whirlwind of jokes and songs, a brighter message was put forth alongside Chris and Gavin’s desire to be on Broadway. Simply put, doing shows with friends is kind of a lot of fun.

In a not so bizarre twist, this president A/president B style-campaign got off to a competitive start. Sloan undermined Esham, stating in a Pinky and the Brain-style essentially, “I’m the brains and you’re the bowels.” Esham returned fire, albeit more subversively, by convincing Sloan to dress up for their salesman origin story as a hot dog. It made for quite a bit of laughter as Esham gyrated on stage singing “The Hot Dog Song” (Butterbeans and Susie aka Jodie and Susie Edwards) while waiting for the embarrassed Sloan to return. As the tension grew, they eventually called the campaign quits, breaking up momentarily to sing “My Own Best Friend” (Kander & Ebb, Chicago). They switched out Chris and Gavin for Roxie and Velma, but both messed it up, differently, which exemplified the high attention to detail that Sloan and Esham put into their show.

Besides consistent melodies, Harren had a few lines to add from behind the piano, including the fact that he had only agreed to the show because he thought it was a benefit for children. Again, all in good fun. I guess the real question, though, is: Did their campaign convince me that they deserve my vote for Broadway leadership? They seem like a capable duo, complete with vocal talent and the suave looks that are no doubt required, so sure, why not?  I’m looking forward to their next campaign stop!

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see