Reviewed by Joe Regan Jr.
December 30, 2012
Adam Shapiro, a beefy comic presence with a terrific voice, was recently featured in the international tour of The Gypsy Kings’ Zorro-The Musical and has returned to New York City cabaret scene with a new show entitled Adam Shapiro’s Guide to the Perfect Breakup. The title song, a clever and very funny piece of special material written by music director Barry Levitt and director Peter Napolitano, sets the stage at The Duplex for the audience’s journey with ten helpful steps and set-ups for the multiple selections including mash ups and two medleys, one the “Relationship Medley” which includes 21 songs including a rare Sondheim, “Isn’t It?” and the other the “Anger Medley” which includes “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard, “F**k You” by Bruno Mars, Ari Levine, Phillip Lawrence, Thomas Calloway and Brody Brown, “Evil Woman” by Jeff Lynne, and “Before He Cheats” by Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins.
Shapiro sets up the program by dedicating his show to audience members, straight, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and everything else! Several times he sings from a gay man’s point of view, other times from a woman’s point of view, and sometimes just happily rejoicing in his gloating over how to deal with rejection, from the point of view of the one dumping and the dumped. In the “Be Direct” step, he belts out Fred Barton’s “Give My Best To the Blonde,” a hysterically funny curse-filled song. He does a very sensitive and quiet “Guess Who I Saw Today” which goes right into Malty & Shire’s “You Want to Be My Friend?,” “Hey, Let’s Be Friends” by Paul Loessel and Scott Burkell, and, finally, Bill Zeffiro’s ironic “My Kind of Guy” (the kind of guy who is a “loser”). Shapiro also matches up “Miss Otis Regrets,” sung in the first person, to the angry and rapidly accelerating rhythm of “If You Hadn’t But You Did!” Of course, at the end, he sings “I Still Believe In Love” (Hamlisch/Bayer Sager).
However, he saves for last, the hysterically funny “Making Love Alone“ the great Marilyn Miller/Cheryl Hardwick piece of special material I first heard Annie Hughes sing some years ago. Shapiro does it very subtly, with minimum gestures but everyone in the sold out audience got it and cheered at the close of this wonderful show.
Adam Shapiro’s Guide to the Perfect Breakup will repeat at the Duplex Wednesday, January 30 at 7 PM. For reservations call 212 255-5438 or contact www.theduplex.com
Adam Shapiro’s website is www.adamshapiro.net