Little ButchieAs you walk into The Cockamamie Colored Cabaret you are handed a program. A real theater program, with cast bios and a list of musical numbers.

That should be your first clue this is no run of the mill Fringe show. (Kudos by the way to English Frys’s Eatery, Shoefly Public House, The Frame shop, SoBro Vintage Market and Printing Partners for supporting this performer so there could be a program booklet.)

The show itself is a mixture of musical styles including pop, jazz, show tunes, and gospel occasionally rewritten to fit the story. There’s also a little poetry by Preacher C ( I wish there was more of this) and a little burlesque (unlike any I had seen).

This is the story of James Solomon Benn, a preacher’s son growing up and coming to terms with being fat, black and gay. It is a story told with humor, compassion, and lots of music.

We see James, nicknamed Little Buchie as a sweet six year old, an awkward teen and a confident man who has learned to love who he is.

The talented cast seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as much as we were. Songs were performed with winks and smiles which drew the audience in and made us feel as if we were a part of the story.

The show has a great flow, giving each of the performers an opportunity to showcase their talent, and they have talent.

  • James Solomon Benn reminds me of many of the singers of the 1940’s with a rich crooner’s voice that ranges from sweet to powerful.
  • Sandy Lomax is an awesome jazz singer, and I loved her version of Happy Talk. I am pretty sure it is impossible to frown as you listen to her sing this song.
  • Paul Nicely,  a Fringe veteran, knows when to play for laughs. But he can also pull at your heart as he demonstrates in a duet with James in my favorite number of the show the very poignant “Not My Father’s Son”
  • Cornelius ” Preacher C” Shaw, a spoken word poet, opens the show with a powerful poem. His strong delivery and compelling message set the tone. My only regret was that the first poem was his only role in the show.  I would love to have seen more of him.

This is an adult show, so leave the kids home, come for the music, stay for the laughs and the warm feeling you get as Little Butchie grows up.

IndyFringe Theater
719 E. St. Clair St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Website: http://jamessolomonbenn.com

  • Fri 08/19/16 10:30pm
  • Sat 08/20/16 7:30pm
  • Sun 08/21/16 9:00pm
  • Tue 08/23/16 7:30pm
  • Sat 08/27/16 9:00pm
  • Sun 08/28/16 1:30pm