Chicago Theatre Review
Street Tempo’s Impassioned Debut: ‘Let My People Come!’
By Devlyn Camp
Don’t bring your children. Don’t bring your right-wing mother. Don’t bring your grandma. Unless she’s into songs titled “Whatever Turns You On” and “Dirty Words.” And if that’s the case, bring her along! The disclaimer is right there in the title: ‘Let My People Come! A Sexual Musical,’ and ‘sexual’ just might be an understatement. The 1974 off-Broadway musical finds new life in brand new theatre company Street Tempo, which has a home, like many other companies, at Stage 773. Covering all the bases of sexuality, from hardships to secrets to all the favorite kinks and pleasures, Broadway Babies are all grown up in a sensationalistic production of Let My People Come.
The musical review doesn’t only toy with kinky costumes and overbearing urges. Throughout the act, cast members reveal true sexual and personal facts about their selves that are beautiful and sometimes pretty funny. They tell sentimental stories of their sexual past and stand bare, metaphorically, for their audience. The literally bare part comes later. It’s a message that lifts up the fun of sex, but above that, shows a beautiful respect for love. There is even a number performed by the powerful Teressa LaGamba that glorifies virginity and the wait for love.
The mighty ensemble has a wide range of ample talent. Matthew T. Payne gets half the show’s laughs during his dating ad bits, Jennifer Oakley’s voice could stand down Trump Tower, and Elianna Stone will prove on her own just how sexy this show can be. The strongest feature number includes two stools, an audience member, Will Hoyer and the Pips. Backed by four ladies, Hoyer lures an unsuspecting gentleman into his arms and asks in song for him to “Come in My Mouth.” Even if the lyrics make you uncomfortable (in which case, go home), Hoyer hits some lusty, mean Mariah Carey notes.
These prime actors are led by a fine band and fantastic music director, Kory Danielson. His comely tunes unite outrageously feel-good vocals and rip right through 773. Brian Posen’s imaginative and steamy staging with the flirtatious choreography sets up the performers to completely satisfy their voyeurs. So here’s my big problem: I have crushes on all of them.
LET MY PEOPLE COME!
Street Tempo Theatre Co.
Through December 31, 2011
Tickets $28, available at stage773.com
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