HuffPo Reviews: Profiles’ ‘Hellcab’ and Bernstein revue at Davenport’s Piano Bar

Profile’s Ambitious Remount of Hit Hellcab Delivers Unexpected Holiday Hope

Im sure we’ve all encountered a hellacious cab experience or three — the driver who used the drive from Andersonville to Boystown as an opportunity to issue a sermon about how all gays are going to hell and then proceeded to creepily hit on me; the cabbie who literally fell asleep at a stop light; the jerk that refused to take our credit card and my partner ended up in jail for an evening after refusing to pay cash. (These are all true stories, btw.)

However, I figure for every bizarre cab ride I’ve had, cab drivers have around a dozen or so fares a day that could surpass even my most colorful tale. And I’m sure they thank their lucky stars for the half-inch thick glass the separates them from the backseat crazy.

Former taxi driver Will Kern dipped into his experiences to pen Hellcab in the early ’90s, where it was produced by Ivanhoe Theatre and ran for a record-breaking 10 years. Now, in an ambitious 20th anniversary production produced by Profiles Theatre and directed by Darrell W. Cox, Hellcab’s showing us that its wheels are still very much on fire. Read full review here >

Stellar Cabaret Tribute to Bernstein at Davenport’s Piano Bar

Leonard Bernstein was a master genius. Composer, conductor, writer, author, pianist — you name it. His accomplishments are fresh in my mind thanks to the crash course I received in Bernstein’s brilliance via Hershey Felder’s one man show, Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein, which played at the Royal George theatre last season.

And in the 60-minute cabaret revue now playing at Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret, One Hand, One Heart: The Musicals of Leonard Bernstein, we get a small but satisfyingly representative sampling of his highly eclectic work as primarily a theatre writer.

To put it this way, there are only two songs from West Side Story included in the set list. While WSS is indeed a masterwork, we’ve heard it before. Why not celebrate his, perhaps, lesser-known but equally accomplished contributions, such as the flop musical 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which was Bernstein’s last original Broadway score and lasted only seven performances, or his musical version of Peter Pan, which was never produced in full? Read full review here >

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