Entertainment

CABARET OLDTOWN REGULARS TEAM UP FOR SHOW

Think Rowan & Martin crossed with Abbott & Costello and maybe a bit of Mickey & Judy or Sonny & Cher, and you have the inspiration behind "Kyle & Monte: The Men, the Myth, the Medleys," opening Friday at Cabaret Oldtown.

The Kyle is Kyle Vespestad and the Monte is Monte Wheeler, two Cabaret regulars for more than a decade who have become local favorites because of their singing chops and their silly comic interactions.

The two first performed together in 1997 in "Pageant" — Vespestad was ditsy, giggly Miss California and Wheeler was Latin spitfire Miss Industrial Northeast.

"We are vastly different in our approach to music and comedy," says Wheeler, who estimates that he and Vespestad have done 20 shows together. "We come from opposite ends of the scale but always seem to arrive in the middle. What we share is the same sense of humor.

"This show is a heightened sense of who we really are," he said. "I'm generally the straight man while Kyle is the lunatic. But we exaggerate who we are to take this show over the top. The onstage Monte is pompous and arrogant and concerned about making 'art' while the onstage Kyle is dim and easily distracted and just wants to have fun."

Wheeler says that even the costumes and set will reflect colorful exaggeration.

"Half the stage is for 'Monte' and half is for 'Kyle.' His is simple and basic with colors like blue, red and yellow, and mine is complex and fussy with colors like pink, purple and teal," Wheeler says. "We come together in the center with our logo."

The premise of the show is that longtime friends Vespestad, 34, and Wheeler, 33, have been invited to put on a two-man revue. When they arrive at the theater, they discover that it was all a big misunderstanding. But they'll be darned if they're gonna waste all their preparation. They figure that since there's already an audience present, they may as well go for it.

The show consists of four medleys, each with snippets of up to 20 songs, with comedy bits laced between. There's a "Tribute to Friendship" with such diverse tunes as "You've Got a Friend" (James Taylor), "We Go Together" ("Grease"), "I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends" (Beatles) and, of course, that 1940s-1950s standard "Friendship (Just a Perfect Blendship)" (Cole Porter).

"These are all new medleys, not a compilation from past shows," Wheeler says. "People haven't heard us do any of these before."

There will also be "Music of the Ages" (tribute to Broadway), "Great American Duos" (like Sonny & Cher, Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers) and a rousing, pull-out-the-stops "Medley of All Medleys" showcasing patriotic songs with some special-effects surprises.

If you go

'Kyle & Monte: The Men, The Myth, The Medleys'

What: New musical revue starring Kyle Vespestad and Monte Wheeler

Where: Cabaret Oldtown, 412 1/2 E. Douglas

When: Opens at 8 p.m. Friday and runs on Fridays and Saturdays through May 29.

How much: Tickets: $18; call 316-265-4400.

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