<bt>Rick Delis would not call himself an accomplished singer, although he has a solo in the Sterling Playmakers’ “Comedy Tonight.”
“You have to sing it like you have rocks in your mouth,” he said. “I’m not a pretty singer. I’m more of a character singer.”
He maintains, however, that he can carry a tune to “Master of the House” from “Les Miserables.” Wearing a leather apron and wielding a goblet, Delis plays the part of a crooked innkeeper, Mr. Thenerdier. Other cast members provide the chorus and encourage the patrons to sing along.
“This song is gruff and gravelly and fun to do,” he said. “It’s a rowdy, drinking song.”
And the rest of the cast more than makes up for his melodic shortcomings, he said.
Take Karlah Louis, who is singing “Turn Back O Man,” from “Godspell.” She takes on the persona of a femme fatale who is playful with the men who are watching the show. Sporting a red boa, she flirts her way off the stage, eventually sitting on the lap of one of the men in the audience. She said it is great fun to see a face turn purple from embarrassment. “And you never know what reaction you’ll get from the woman!”
She planted her husband in one audience. “I kissed him in the middle of the song,” she recalled. After a few gasps, she reassured everyone about whom she was kissing.
“COMEDY TONIGHT,” a cabaret-style performance featuring a variety of funny Broadway musical numbers, is scheduled Jan. 21, 22, 28 and 29 at the dining room of the Senior Center on Whitfield Place in Sterling.
Tickets are $25 a person, and include a buffet dinner.
Lora Buckman is the producer, and Angela Hepola is the director. The other performers are Courtney Armstrong, Joe Campanella, Pete Edivan, Molly Kay Johns, Danica Shook and Tim Silk. To make reservations, call Emilie Pugh at 703-430-6969.
A performance is scheduled at McCormick & Schmick’s Restaurant in Reston on Sunday, Jan 23. The restaurant already has hosted the show on Jan. 9 and 16. Tickets for the dinner and entertainment cost $60. For reservations, call 703-481-6600.
Buckman said the show is not “your typical cabaret.”
“Our cast and staff are wonderful,” she added. “If you didn’t know better, you’d think they were professional.”
Johns sings “Nothing” from “A Chorus Line.” She enjoys the piece, because it allows her to express herself in words and song. “It’s pretty funny,” Johns said of the character. “She is really being sarcastic about acting class.”
Shook’s solo is “I’m Shy” from “Once Upon a Mattress.” She plays the part of a princess. “I start out very timid and then I burst out and shine, totally opposite of the meek and mild.”
Campanella sings “Be a Dentist” from “Little Shop of Horrors.” He carries a large drill, as in the hardware store variety. He describes his character as a “parody of Elvis.”
“I can be very silly, and people still laugh,” he said.