Some of the numbers include introductions by the singers, who put them within the context of their particular shows, or who offer personal anecdotes about their own connections to the songs (Elliott Folds’ from “Falsettos,” Tony Hayes’ from “Jekyll and Hyde”) — but most of them don’t. At least one tune is replete with props and the semblance of a set (Max Mattox’s fine “Nine” routine) — but the rest of them aren’t.
Ill-advisedly, actor Blake Fountain resorts to full-blown drag for his variation of the Sondheim standard “Send in the Clowns” (from “A Little Night Music”). The classic ballad was originally conceived as the lament of an aging actress, so it somehow undermines and defeats the whole “role reversal” purpose of Conroy’s premise that it’s presented here with the very same intention.
To be sure, two of the nicest highlights in Out Front’s show belong to Bradley T. Johnson (with the Baker’s Wife solo from “Into the Woods”) and Brandon L. Smith (with Ariel’s “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid”) — both of whom discover new meaning and emotion in the songs by performing them comparatively straight.
Jen Acker appears in Out Front's streaming musical revue "Role Reversal Cabaret."
Courtesy of Saturnblu Productions
Not all of the melodies are as well-known as others. For every familiar bit from “Cabaret” (by Clint Clark-Duke) or “Hamilton” (by Jen Acker), there are less popular ones from “Cry-Baby” (with Tyler Sarkis) or “Songs for a New World” (with Vallea Woodbury, another standout).
Rounding out the ensemble: Hannah Marie Craton (singing from “Thoroughly Modern Millie”); Caty Bergmark (“Children of Eden”); Cansler McGhee (“Waitress”); Anna Gonzalez (“The Wild Party”); and Precious West (“Mean Girls”).
Certain isolated moments in “Role Reversal Cabaret” are executed with greater polish and skill than others, of course, but something is better than nothing — especially these days. For an encore, perhaps Conroy and company could offer a similar program featuring a playlist of socially distanced musical-theater duets?
“Role Reversal Cabaret”
Available for streaming through March 8. $15. 404-448-2755, outfronttheatre.com.
Bottom line: Sort of a jukebox revue of show tunes — some more famous (and better delivered) than others.