Late with Lance!

Lance Jonathan (Peter Michael Marino) has had enough of sitting around as understudy on his dads' ship the S.S. Spectacular, so he's sought the bright lights of Edinburgh with nothing more than a song in his heart and blind optimism in his somewhat underprepared set. It's a neat character idea but there's too much padding around the would-be star – which prevents him from breaking out.

Marino's strength lies in his character arch: as Lance continues in the face of no-shows from celebrities, the cracks begin to show to good effect.

Starting the show with a musical number perfect for those insufferable cruise entertainment nights, Marino struts the stage with boundless enthusiasm and flair. His character work is brilliant, with Lance high-kicking and singing snippets of musicals all over the shop. Lance's tendency to veer off into song at any given moment is a nice touch to such a sugar-sweet, "smile to cure cancer" persona.

The show follows Lance as he decides to host his own chat show, inviting big names like Liza Minnelli and Hugh Jackman to talk with him. When they inevitably run late, he needs to improvise. It's these segments which let the show down. Marino's songs and dream journal have good jokes which land well, but his audience interaction goes down somewhat awkwardly due to the larger than life character he's portraying. The audience isn't on board it leads to some incredibly stilted conversation, which is a shame as the rest of the set has some lovely comic nuances. The parody of A Chorus Line's One is fantastic, but these highs contrast greatly with the low points of the set, overall coming across as a mixed bag of a show.

Marino's strength lies in his character arch: as Lance continues in the face of no-shows from celebrities, the cracks begin to show to good effect. He's not out to make a lot of friends and the finale culminates in a Springtime for Hitler-esque twist which may offend but isn't meant maliciously. He's got a great premise, but Marino would work best without the talk show element. When you're a one man show relying entirely on the audience for large segments of the set it's a big risk which isn't worth a lukewarm pay off.

Broadway Baby Radio interview with Peter Michael Marino

Reviews by Louise Jones

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The Blurb

From the creator of the global smash Desperately Seeking the Exit comes Lance – a delusionally optimistic cruise ship entertainer. This pathological musical theatre fanatic and celebrity stalker is docked in town, so he’s hosting his own twisted, musical variety chat show. Featuring Lance's original songs, clever dances, and witty rapport with his special scheduled guests Liza Minnelli, Hugh Jackman and Miami Sound Machine. Lance has suffered for his art. Now it’s your turn. 'Inspired comic creation. A lot of fun!' (Mark Shenton). ‘Endlessly entertaining and immensely appealing’ (Backstage NY).

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