The Mike Hadge Trio's 7th Reunion Concert
nytheatre.com review by David Fuller
August 12, 2012
So, if Curly Howard of The Three Stooges fame were a wry comic rocker with a dry ironic songwriting wit, he might come somewhere close to Mike Hadge, the namesake center of the Mike Hadge Trio, currently in performance at their 7th reunion at the Huron Club. The reunion itself is problematic from the get-go, though this reviewer isn’t going to spoil the fun by spilling the beans here. Suffice it to say that Hadge comes to the fore with a band-fronting, guitar rocking show that is funny, fun and sometimes feverish in a good ol’ rockin’ way.
Hadge has occasional help from the band intern Pinki Li, a young woman in full clichéd mime regalia who is sort of an inept roadie moonlighting from her Mime studies at NYU Tisch School. Otherwise, Hadge is the center of the show; the lyricist and lead singer for the 7th reunion of a trio that has had its problems in the past getting along. (Hence, 7 reunions.) Band politics however take a back seat to the songs which are all entertaining, sometimes hilariously so, in a variety of styles and subject matter.
Take for instance: “Settle for Me,” a plaintive ode to Love’s mediocrity; “I’m Sitting Here Pretending to Text,” the confessions of a man alone at a bar; “I’ll Have an Athletic Son,” a man’s justification for his own non-sports wimpiness; “Timothy’s Got an Asian Fetish,” about a friend’s rather limited dating proclivities; and “Nostalgia Makes Shitty Things Seem Good,” a paean to a rose-colored view of memories. This is just a sampling of the around fifteen songs in the band’s set, all connected with interspersed quips and comments by Hadge which entertain in themselves.
There’s even a bit of a theme to the show, as espoused by the band leader, “Life’s a precious gift – one you can’t return for store credit.” Near the end Hadge sums it all up in a song, “Just Adjust Your Dreams and They’ll Come True.” There’s something deliciously subversive in Hadge, who is able to convey these “Life Lessons” with just a hint of a gleam of a twinkle in his eyes: a playful sense of irony that is a pleasure to watch.
Sometimes there’s an added bonus when reviewing for FringeNYC. Sometimes you see a talent with a unique voice who just might be on the cusp of going somewhere. Mike Hadge has that certain something, with or without his trio. Okay, without. Go see the show, enjoy yourself and maybe one day you’ll say, “Hey! I saw that guy start out at FringeNYC!”