Samuel Vincent Aubuchon: Love Revolution

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Samuel Vincent Aubuchon

Love Revolution

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, September 14, 2023

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg

Samuel Vincent Aubushon
Photo: Michael Kushner

Who knew Broadway could be so dirty? Well, the wickedly charming Samuel Vincent Aubuchon did. In his New York City cabaret debut at Don’t Tell Mama, his show, Love Revolution, celebrated the raunchier side of musical theater. He has a big powerful voice and a seductive personality (he seems destined to play Cabaret’s Emcee one of these days), and he possesses a smile that shifts from sweet to sardonic with seemingly no effort at all. He’s openly gay, and much of the very well-chosen material was tied in with his own dating life and his adventures on some of the apps. The wide range of songs— from classics to contemporary, from campy to sincere—kept the show bubbling along.

Of course, in presenting a first show Aubuchon did make a few mistakes, starting at the top. He kicked off the show with “Big Spender” (Sweet Charity) and was joined by his two special guests, Zach Faust and Ellis Gage, both talented young performers. The presence of music director/pianist Michael Lavine, drummer Daniel Glass, and bassist Ray Kilday made for a very crowded stage. If any musical-theater number calls out for movement, this one was it, but the three singers could do no more than present themselves as tinned sardines. Aubuchon then followed it with a series of non-stop, high-energy songs that began to seem more exhausting then exciting. Individually, some of these routines certainly scored, from the lascivious “Bring on the Men” (Jekyll & Hyde), to the shyly wicked “Something About You” (Altar Boyz), to the explicit “Blue” (Heathers) in duet with Faust.

Another duet was the double entendre-filled “The Tennis Song” from City of Angels, this time with the handsome Gage. It marked a more relaxed approach as it cleverly reimagined this duel of wits as a first Grindr date. As things turned romantic, Aubuchon’s skill as a balladeer was revealed, first with a lovely “I Will Be Loved” (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change), and he truly blossomed in a fine crooning rendition of the classic “Bewitched (Bothered, and Bewildered)” (Pal Joey). After revving back up with an impressively enunciated “Anything Goes,” he finished the main part of his program with an energetic “Let It Go” from The Full Monty, though he didn’t remove a stitch of clothing.

This was one of those rare cabaret shows that got better and better as it went along. It had superior patter (with contributions by Lauryn Hurley) that was both witty and personal. Aubuchon has major talent, along with his filthy imagination, and it will be interesting to see how he develops as he learns the rules of the cabaret road.

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."