Regional Reviews: Albuquerque/Santa Fe
Cidny has written and performs a 90-minute solo show about his remarkable life. We find out that he always felt like a boy and was distressed when his breasts started coming in at age 12.
The show starts when Cindy moves to Los Angeles, hoping to make it in the music business, in the 1970s, linking up with Bob Crewe, a famous music producer, and meeting Elton John at a party then going on tour with him for a year, which gives her a little financial cushion. There is the obligatory cocaine and alcohol period, then the release of a couple of rock albums, but nothing brings fame. The biggest moneymaker comes from singing lead on three songs on the Grease soundtrack (not the ones by Olivia Newton-John).
Cindy marries Bob Crewe's older brother Dave, who is gay. Cidny says that Dave must have felt that Cindy was the closest thing to a man who could give him children. They do in fact have two daughters. Cindy leaves the girls with Dave and goes to Nashville to pursue a music career. Then disaster strikes: The younger daughter gets cancer. I don't want to reveal everything about the show, so I'll stop there, and encourage you to see it for yourself.
Cidny Bullens is a very engaging performer, and his autobiography is well-crafted. Credit also goes to Tanya Taylor Rubinstein, who helped him shape the show and directed it. Cidny sings several of his songs during the show. I know this sounds harsh, but he doesn't seem to have a gift for melody, although the lyrics aren't bad. The title of the show comes from a song Cindy wrote about her daughter, "Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth," but now the "Somewhere Between" applies to Cidny too.
You would think a show like this would just be a guy and his guitar on stage. Actually, it has a lot of technical aspects to it, which were designed by Cidny and Joshua Langman, and flawlessly operated here by Kyle King.
There are more productions of Somewhere Between scheduled for this spring, including one at Adobe Rose Theatre in Santa Fe later this month, and I think the show should have a long run around the country. Cidny's story is unique, and well worth hearing. We're lucky to have him here in Albuquerque for a short while.
Somewhere Between, a solo show written and performed by Cidny Bullens, is being presented at the Aux Dog Theatre Nob Hill, on Monte Vista just north of Central, in Albuquerque. Through February 6, 2017. Friday and Saturday at 8:00, Sunday at 2:00. Info at auxdog.com.