Review: The Aurora Theatre’s Men with Money
‘If Mamma Mia and Guys and Dolls had a gay baby, you’d get Men with Money’
Armed with Golden voices and three-part harmony, The cast of Men with Money is absolutely incredible. With soaring music and a book by Bill Nelson and Joseph Trefler , Men with Money will do well in Atlanta but runs into problems with older audience members.
“you can’t suspend that much disbelief”
Is one of the many comments I’d overheard during intermission. The Aurora theatre is one of the leading theatres in Atlanta, dedicated to producing new work but this might be their biggest leap of faith. Men with Money is not only a world premiere musical but is set in the 50s and does away societal norms. Which can lead to some bumps in the road when most of your patrons were alive during the period. With the right audience, Men with Money will and DOES shine brightly. But to older patrons that love wicked and the prospects of young green witch but can’t seem to “suspend their disbelief” long enough to pay attention to the show, it falls flat.
The show is great, period. Men with Money is a piece of theatre I’ve been honored to bare witness to. And with or without the support of older audiences, this cast is otherworldly. It’s Leads, Sean Doherty, Marcello Audino, and Kenny Tran are BRILLIANT. It’s almost impossible to put into words how well they complement each other. And For anyone that may have their doubts about the show, I’ve provided some characters from everyone’s favorite musicals that are like the characters in Men with Money.
Kenny Tran as Sonny (Audrey, Little Shop of Horrors)
Kenny shines like no one else onstage. I like to think of him as a MUSICAL THEATRE ICON for lack of better words. Kenny literally steals the show and attention in every scene he’s in. It doesn’t make any sense that someone could be so talented- Like at all. It’s literally sickening (in the best possible way). #LiveyourbestlifeKenny!
Marcello Audino as Max (Danny Zuko, Grease)
Marcello gives pure Greased Lightnin’ vibes as Max. His number “Here comes Max” is one of the best original numbers I’ve seen onstage. If you saw the Aurora’s Newsies you know him as Davey. As Max, he’s the one guy we all have in our friend groups. He’s charismatic, he’s hilarious, and also a disaster waiting to happen. #HerecomesMax ….and he’s belting!
Sean Doherty as Louis (Bobby, Company)
This is the only time I’ve ever seen someone get mid-song applause at the Aurora. Sean is absolutely ridiculous, his talent, and comedic timing is ridiculous. I honestly can’t find another word for it. He’s giving full voice belting and acting beats. He’s been working on this show for a while and you can see it in his love and care of the piece. #SINGSIR!!
Along with our three leading men, Men with Money features LITERAL STARS in other stand out roles. Daniel Wisniewski as Hot Dog, Adrianna Trachell as Thursday, Brian Robinson as Tycoon, Jimi Kocina as Frenchy, Cecil Washington Jr. as Marvatech and Candy McLellan as Mugsten. Every one of them deserves the world. Their comedic timing, these vocals, these dance numbers!! Listen! The kids are giving you turns and lifts all while they’re singing at the top of their ranges!
The Ensemble features Willis Hao, Christopher D’Angelo, Amy Duffy, Cody Evan Jones, Peyton Mcdaniel, Olivia Zimmerman, Briana Young, Elliot Folds, Chloe Cordle, Terelyn Jones, Cansler Mcghee, Brooke Morrison, and Russell Alexander II.
But it’s important for this show to FIND ITS AUDIENCE. The audience for this show is simply not amongst the majority 50 & up audience of the Aurora. So Invite all classmates, schools, youth groups, and clubs to see this beautiful story. An LGBT+ story has never been told in this way in Atlanta and that’s why this story needs to be told. That’s why it’s so important, a new beautiful“world” just debuted so we have to support it!
Men with Money is running through April 7, 2019 at the Aurora Theatre. You can buy tickets here and when you post about it be sure to hashtag it #ATMenWithMoney #ATloveis and #AuroraTheatre.