What a lovely homage to the great character actors of a time gone by. Jim Brochu's musical memoir, Character Man, now playing at Urban Stages, does just that.
With a book by Brochu, and music by various stellar composer/lyricists like Kander and Ebb,
Comden and Green, Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz, Character Man is rife with juicy theatre stories and Mr. Brochu's personal recollections.
He has had a love affair with the theatre and has been enmeshed with it since a very young age.
Brochu's unabashed passion for the stage, the people involved with it, and the applause of the crowd is what has kept him working in such varied positions as performer, writer and even soda salesman in the back of the house for years. As a matter of fact, Brochu's recurring stint as an orange soda hawker in a theatre is an integral and enchanting recurring theme throughout the 90 minute piece.
Although Character Man may not resonate with a younger crowd, since many of the featured men are not necessarily current cultural references, nonetheless, the charming stories and excellent performance by Brochu will draw in theatre lovers of all ages.
Directed by Robert Bartley with musical direction by Carl Haan, Character Man, plays through March 30 at Urban Stages Theatre, 259 West 30 Street.