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Robert Bullen

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Porchlight's Double Trouble Creaks with Old-School Charm

Posted: 09/06/2013 6:08 pm

Donald and Gene. Bing and Danny. Adrian and Alexander.

What do these three pairs have in common? Why, they're vintage sweater vest-sportin', Brilliantine in the hair-wearnin', singin' and dancin' duos who charm with their smooth moves and crooning tunes. They all have a song at the ready to express their new-found love, and it often involves a soft shoe shuffle and sometimes a broom or an umbrella dancing partner.

While Donald (O'Connor), Gene (Kelly), Bing (Crosby) and Danny (Kaye) are household names and beloved musical comedy pairs, Adrienne and Alexander aren't familiar outside of Chicago's tight-knit theatre community. At least, not yet.

Yes, Double Trouble is a charming and creaky (sometimes noisily so) two-hander musical comedy that celebrates sibling revelry. A labor of love by brother duo Bob and Jim Walton, Porchlight's snappy production features winning performances from Adrian and Alexander Aguilar -- each accomplished musical actors who steadily work across the city.

And, I'll just say it: they're each adorable.

The zany plot about two songwriting brothers who are about to make their big break at "MMG Studios" (if they can just stop getting distracted by the female starlets and focus on the task at hand), is merely an excuse to have two talented actors try their hand at donning various outfits, including a few drag cameos, and singing a wide range (in terms of style and quality) of pastiche-heavy tunes. And the Aguilar brothers are equally adept at meeting the challenges of this unchallenging material.

Beyond the brothers' performances, Double Trouble is a mindless, by-the-numbers romp. But it certainly offers moments of daffy delight -- especially the last 10 minutes, which provide a glimpse onto what this show coulda been.

"Double Trouble" plays through October 6 at Stage 773. More info here >

 

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