By Katy Walsh - September 4, 2013
Porchlight Music Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of DOUBLE TROUBLE.
The Waltons meet the Aguilars in this zany musical about brotherly love. Brothers Bob Walton and Jim Walton wrote the book, lyrics, and music for this lampoon about two brothers breaking into 1941 Hollywoodland. The fictional brothers are a lyricist and a composer. They are played by real life brothers Adrian Aguilar and Alexander Aguilar. The casting choice adds a layer of intimacy as the audience sees what the holidays might look like at the Aguilars. Two mega-talented siblings harmonizing beautifully yet competing for the bigger laugh.
The story is madcap absurdity. The plot is like a predictable MGM 1940’s flick. So, the Waltons’ script cleverly builds on the ridiculous. It’s not just about brothers playing brothers written by brothers, the Aguilars play multiple characters. They become the entire movie studio crew: the sound guy, an intern, the boss, the secretary, the agent, the leading man, and the sexy starlet. They actually both get a spin at being the starlet and seducing the other one. Although hilarious, it’s a little unsettling.
Under the direction of Matthew Crowle, the quick-change effects are perfectly timed. One Aguilar goes into the sound booth and meets his brother in the hallway as a dame. It’s fascinating to watch the transformations in this spoof-tastic tribute to showbiz beginnings. The script may be predictable but the Aguilar brothers are not. They add in plenty of slapstick shenanigans to heighten the humor. Their comedic timing is stellar. And their dancing is a Gene Kelly revival.
Doubling as choreographer, Crowle has them leaping, gliding, tapping across the stage. There is this dazzling flourish of romance between the brothers as a lovestruck couple. Then, there is a frolicking athleticism between the brothers as brothers. In all the sequences, they move in sync and in character impressively. I’m not sure what I loved better throughout the show: the comedy or the dancing. I do know what I loved best: the top hat, black tie, tap dancing finale. There is something about a hot guy in a tux dancing and this was times 2!
DOUBLE TROUBLE is more like octuple mayhem. The Aguilars make this show a must see. On an adorable scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 15! And be warned, this may be your last chance to see Adrian on his hometown stage. He’s heads off to NYC to rehearse a musical version of the movie “Rocky” in early 2014.