Much Ado About “Der Real Ting Musical!!”
I’m going to have to steal a line from William Shakespeare and change it up just a tad, because there’s much ado about Der Real Ting!! Musical – and you need not walk, but rather run to the Dundas Box Office to score tickets to this jukebox musical which made its debut at the 10th season of Shakespeare in Paradise (SiP).
Set 42 years ago, the play follows the fortunes of brothers Mike Williams (Dion Johnson), a politician, and Johnny Williams (Osano W.L. Neely), a jitney driver—and Carmen (Anja Bowe), whose attention they both vie for. The play takes the audience through the ups and downs of the trio. Their rise, their fall and their rise again—like the phoenix from the ashes (or would that be the bottom of the liquor bottle?) and is based on the music of the legendary Eddie Minnis, whose satirical eye spans decades from the 1970s to the present.
The story is told by the brothers—with Mike telling Johnny’s story; and Johnny telling Mike’s story—through their own eyes. And they spill all the dirt (or tea if you’re using modern vernacular). Mike starts at the top and you get to watch as he falls epically, after “stabbing” his good friends and fellow politicians Clinton Roberts (Rossano Deal) and Joshua Hanna (Alfred A. Culmer) in the back; while Johnny’s story starts out in the middle, you get to witness his fall, and rise back up. It’s a story that comes full circle in the telling.