Ain’t We Got Fun, Ben Hensley and Michael Montiel’s nostalgic look back at early 20th Century vaudeville, makes for forty-five of the brightest minutes you’re likely to enjoy this year. 

Imagining themselves as a pair of old-time vaudevillians with an Old Kit Bag-full of costumes and props, the oh-so talented duo perform such standards as “When You’re Smiling,” “Ma! He’s Making Eyes At Me,” “Oh! You Beautiful Doll,” and the title song. 

There are magic tricks, classic vaudeville routines like “Slowly I turned…,” and some boy-girl flirtation with Montiel looking particularly fetching in female drag.  (Montiel also plays his Mexican grandmother in “The Enchilada Man.”)

There’s a bit of double entendre (particularly in “The Zucchini Song”) that will fly over the heads of the kiddies but tickle grown-ups’ fancies.  Lindsay Martin and Hensley’s direction pokes gentle fun at vaudeville all the while respecting the genre. Martin’s choreography is a treat, especially the “Top Hat, White Tie, And Tails” number.

Louie Avila provides impeccable musical accompaniment on piano.  Not only is “Ain’t We Got Fun” available for corporate events and parties, it would make a great bonus production for the Celebration Theatre as both an afternoon children’s show and a late-night offering (with perhaps a bit of extra “risqué” thrown in for the latter). In the immortal words of The Flintstones, “You’ll have a gay old time!” I certainly did.

Hollywood Presbyterian Church “Middle Terrace,” 1760 N. Gower St., Hollywood.

–Steven Stanley
June 18, 2010
                                                                                   Photos: Samantha Salazar

Comments are closed.