Josh Carr and Scottie Roche: The Wrong People Travel

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Josh Carr and Scottie Roche

The Wrong People Travel

Pangea, NYC, September 6, 2019

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Josh Carr (L) & Scottie Roche

It is not uncommon in the world of New York cabaret to see duos who are siblings (the Nunziatas), family (all the Sullivans), or loving couples (Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano). However, The Wrong People Travel may be the first show to feature ex-lovers who went through a nasty break-up and a devastating accident and then found themselves back together as devoted friends. On the stage of Pangea, Josh Carr and Scottie Roche share their rather unique backgrounds (Carr spoke warmly of a surrogate mom who was “a cross between Auntie Mame and the Mayflower Madam”) along with the decided highs and lows of their relationship.

A delightful set of mostly Broadway songs assembled by jovial music director Karl Saint Lucy and director Topher Cusumano tell the singing duo’s tale, ranging from the campy “Lovesick” (David Yazbeck), delivered by Carr on their first meeting, to a duet on the gentle “A Quiet Thing” to commemorate their falling in love while traveling together, an activity that served to unite and reunite their relationship. Their open relationship was celebrated with another joint number, “As Long as You’re Happy” (Charles Strouse and Richard Maltby, Jr.) and a spirited “Arthur in the Afternoon” by the big-voiced Roche, acknowledging the “other man” in their life—who, ironically, proved to be the other man for both of them. Carr also offered a lesser-known gem, “I’ve Found a New Baby” (Jack Palmer and Spencer Williams), about this era of their partnership as well.

After a staged break-up, and an on-stage squabble about the break-up—“I dumped you first!”—Roche offered a beautifully understated “Unusual Way.” Carr suffered a terrifying accident, being struck down by a reckless driver, but in recovering he found “A Change in Me,” which led him to return to his passion for traveling and his favorite companion. They wound up the show with a riotous “Why Do the Wrong People Travel?,” giving Roche a chance to use his operatic range for comic effect and the two to demonstrate the comfortable partnership they share.

Bart Greenberg

Bart Greenberg first discovered cabaret a few weeks after arriving in New York City by seeing Julie Wilson and William Roy performing Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter outdoors at Rockefeller Center. It was instant love for both Ms. Wilson and the art form. Some years later, he was given the opportunity to create his own series of cabaret shows while working at Tower Records. "Any Wednesday" was born, a weekly half-hour performance by a singer promoting a new CD release. Ann Hampton Callaway launched the series. When Tower shut down, Bart was lucky to move the program across the street to Barnes & Noble, where it thrived under the generous support of the company. The series received both The MAC Board of Directors Award and The Bistro Award. Some of the performers who took part in "Any Wednesday" include Barbara Fasano and Eric Comstock, Tony Desare, Andrea Marcovicci, Carole Bufford, the Karens, Akers, Mason and Oberlin, and Julie Wilson. Privately, Greenberg is happily married to writer/photographer Mark Wallis, who as a performance artist in his native England gathered a major following as "I Am Cereal Killer."