By ROB LESTER****It’s L.O.L. time: a song-filled To Tell the Truth-style game show has Broadway/cabaret vets telling tall tales and wild truths, but which is which? Guess right and win points. MAC Award-winning Amy Wolk, an uber-funny lady hosts–or, rather, referees the shenanigans. At the public debut of this monthly madness, called I Only Have LIES for You, we heard about a Hairspray performance on Broadway with an understudy who was quite drunk, piano bar entertainers having their dignity tested by an admiring customer who was plainly peeing in his pants, and an overseas tour of The Wizard of Oz where a castmate who was a sumo wrestler lusted after the Cowardly Lion (played by MAC’s own Prez Lennie Watts, who stated the stalking story specifics). Yes, truth is stranger than fiction, and all these were actual events the players survived.
I found the first installment a consistently engaging and fun time, equally chuckle-worthy whether what was claimed to have happened actually did happen or not, as the contestants’ abilities in bluffing impressed as part of their acting abilities or the real-deal events amazed because they were too good to be true, yet were. See for yourself on Sunday, July 16 over at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42 Street in the downstairs stage of The West Bank Cafe at 7:30 PM.
Poker-faced (but smirking) performers on one team shared adventures they claimed to be 100% genuine, followed by a series of questions to see if they’d break down under cross-examination and be able to just as glibly provide specific details, letting us see if the events really did happen. Then, correctly guessing if the story is true or a lie wins a point. The story often involves a song and therein lies the musical entertainment part. “And how did that song you mentioned go?” is the only kind of song cue they need and musical director Nate Buccieri is ready, set, go-for-it prepared. The I Only Have LIES for You original theme song itself is a special delight that sets the tone, performed by cheery, cheeky, musically inventive Nate, a very regular Manhattan piano bar fixture himself.
This month’s Broadway guests are Samantha Hill, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Caroline O’Connor, and Jeff Blumenkrantz.
Broadway’s Nikki M. James is the co-producer with wild woman Wolk. And the talent chosen certainly knew how to entertain with a belted song related to the memory or the big, fat lie. Here lies the truth is: this is a huge, huge hoot!!