Mon Oct 27 2008
Laurie Beechman Theater; Sun 2, Nov 9, 16, 23
I have a sordid confession to make: I am addicted to Cashino. My first encounter with Susan Mosher and John Boswell’s hilariously demented lounge act came last year during the After Party, the Beechman’s weekly open-mike binge. With delicious intensity, they performed a mixed-up medley of songs by the band Chicago and from the musical Chicago. (Cashino specializes in hybrids of Broadway and 1970s pop that would make Dr. Moreau proud.) I was hooked, and made sure to catch their whole set soon afterward. Then I went back to see them again. And again. And again. The houses were always packed: Cashino’s cult following, once confined to Los Angeles, is spreading rapidly through New York.
Mosher, currently camping it up in Broadway’s Hairspray, plays singer Pepper Cole, a lovable loser undaunted by failure; Boswell, in a velvet smoking jacket and a glow-in-the-dark toupee, is her pianist, Johnny Niagra. (Their backstory is laid out in goofy video mockumentaries during the show: Lounge lizards having become an endangered species, Cashino provides live entertainment for online gamblers in their homes.) Boswell’s arrangements are terrific—he has a first-rate ear for unexpected segues and counterpoints—and Mosher is a dynamo of bright, unstable energy; her herky-jerky side kicks while singing are like steam being released from a pipe on the verge of exploding. If Cashino is a disease, baby, I don’t want the cure. Catch it if you can.