Pete ‘n’ Keely

Original Off-Broadway Cast, 2001 (Fynsworth Alley) 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) James Hindman’s goofy, marvelous spoof/homage Pete ‘n’ Keely stars George Dvorsky and Sally Mayes as Pete Bartel and Keely Stevens, a pair of bitterly divorced songbirds who have been coerced into performing on a TV reunion special. Material that might have been overly campy in other hands is just right when delivered by the divine Mayes and Dvorsky. The song list combines standards (“This Could Be the Start of Something Big,” “But Beautiful”), a patriotic classic (“The Battle Hymn of the Republic”), and new songs by director-lyricist Mark Waldrop and musical director-composer Patrick Scott Brady. “Wasn’t It Fine?” is the one serious song among the new ones, and it’s lovely. The comic highlights are the hilarious “Cross Country Tour,” a six-minute medley that mentions every state in the union, and then some; “Tony ‘n’ Cleo,” which presents highlights from the couple’s one Broadway show, a stereotypical 1960s musical ostensibly based on Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra; and “Love,” not a funny song in itself, but interspersed with hilarious, rapid-fire rounds of jabs. Brady leads the crack eight-piece band, and production photos in the CD booklet offer a glimpse of Bob Mackie’s lavish costumes. — Seth Christenfeld