Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fringe Review: 'From Broadway to Obscurity'

Posted By on Sun, May 22, 2016 at 1:58 PM

click to enlarge 'From Broadway to Obscurity' at the Orlando Fringe
  • 'From Broadway to Obscurity' at the Orlando Fringe
Why would a Midwestern boy who dreamed about being on Broadway since playing Toto in the second grade walk away from a role in the Great White Way's hottest show after nearly 1,200 performances? Actor Eric Gutman takes Fringe audiences on his journey to that fateful decision using his terrific tenor voice and comedic talents in his superior one-man show From Broadway to Obscurity.
From Broadway to Obscurity
M-1 Productions / Eric Gutman - Huntington Woods, MI
Venue: Gold
Length: 75 Min
Price: $10 (Disc: FA|FV|STU|SR|MIL)
Rating: 13 & Up – Mild Language
Buy Tickets
Gutman shares stories from his life in the professional theater, from regional Forbidden Broadway productions and off-Broadway dinner theater to understudy on national tours. He doesn't get to tales from Jersey Boys, his big break, until almost 45 minutes into the show, but the story of how he had to step into the role of Bob Gaudio mid-show after a hydraulic-lift mishap is classic "show must go on" material. As good as his backstage anecdotes and impassioned rants against Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats are, it's his singing that makes the show a must-see. Gutman probably has the best pipes in this year's fest, and he's an amazing vocal mimic; his maudlin Mandy Patinkin is dead on the mark, and his Four Seasons songs should make Frankie Valli (who personally oversaw his audition) proud.

The answer to the opening question only comes in the show's final moments, and when it does it is both anti-climactically prosaic and emotionally perfect; call me shamelessly sentimental, but I was sniffling. Wipe your eyes and be sure to stick around for the encore, because Broadway-tested talents of Eric Gutman's caliber don't come to the Fringe every year.

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