Ben Auxier’s Musical Calvacade of Fear! - The Living Room Theatre and Fishtank Theatre

Reviewed By Luke Dodge

Fringe Reviewer

Ben Auxier and Ryan McCall present yet another musical tour de force in the crowd-pleasing "Ben Auxier's Musical Cavalcade of Fear!" Truly an old-school cabaret, Ben Auxier stares into the face of fear and anxiety, pulls them into the light with a bleak playfulness, and steals away just a little of their power through deft comedy. From the live band to the ensemble singers, there's a degree of panache and showmanship that would feel at home on a cruise ship or in a Vegas casino.

Ben Auxier may have top billing, but his band and ensemble are top-notch. Dressed in cocktail attire, they turn back the clock to another age as they sing and dance their way around the theater. From the good-natured banter to the mind-blowing vocals (Auxier, McCall, Nellie Maple, Brianna Woods, and Francisco Javier Villegas), they all play an integral part in the show, with each receiving their own well-deserved spotlight.

A parody of life as we know it, the catchy show tunes are simultaneously deeply introspective and down-to-earth. Through self-deprecating humor, Auxier takes a light-hearted look at the terribly dark corners of the world and leaves the audience in stitches. The emotions he shares are visceral and personal, revealing a panic about the state of the world that is all too familiar.

With a different vibe from other shows, the unique humor and honest connection left the audience wanting more. (Full disclosure: this reviewer has been on the same stage as Auxier in the past.) Even the sponsorship messages are done with flair and are entertaining. There’s some proof that a show is funny when the band still laughs on the third night of the run. This is sure to be a sell-out and Festival favorite.