Paging Dorothy Parker.
If there was ever a perfect booking for The Eccles Theater, it was Sunday night. The stage in the grand theater was set like a bandstand of bygone days, and the band was dressed to match in flapper dresses, suspenders, hats and elegant ballgowns as they sang contemporary songs with old-fashioned arrangements. It was so vaudeville—there was even a master of ceremonies and corny jokes.
This is Postmodern Jukebox’s schtick and they do it well. Maybe, I’d argue, a little too well.
A rotating cast of female vocalists all hard their turn at the microphones, both together and separately, said one early in the night, “It would be a real Salt Lake pity if we didn’t sing together, girls.” See above comment re: corny jokes, please.
From a doo-wop version of Celine Dion’s version of “My Heart Will Go On,” to a scat jazz cover of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy”—all with more wardrobe changes than Beyonce—Postmodern Jukebox was giving the near sell-out crowd exactly what they came to see.
Perhaps, maybe a little more than they came to see when Aubrey Logan took to the stage to cover Genuwine’s “Pony” and turned it into a naughty burlesque show with the help of Mark, a poor unsuspecting man from the audience. “I can’t resist a man in a practical sweater,” she cooed as she shoved her breasts in his face. “I’ve heard there are a lot of Mormons here who practice Mormonism,” she told him as she straddled his lap, “I certainly practice more man-ism.” And on and on she went kicking her legs in the air and throwing around double entendres.
This review would be remiss if it did not mention the band who played behind the rotating cast of women. Versatile musicians, all, and good for comic relief. And, as part of the collection of entertainers on the stage, I kid you not: There was a tap dancer. A really, actually very good tap dancer. Sarah Reich. But still, that was a first for me.
And so, after more than 12 hours of digestion, I’m still not sure what I thought about the show enough to give it a favorable or unfavorable review. Instead I’ll say this: If polished performances and perfect production value is your thing, you’re not going to find anything better that Maiya Sykes’ cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.” But, if like me, you’re looking for some grit, some charm and something unique—probably don’t count on a band who was made famous by YouTube to provide that to you.
Maybe just read some Dorothy Parker instead.