"Mighty Real" Mighty Fun; Amiable "Youth"

September 15, 2014 5:24 PM

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Why haven't they made a musical about Sylvester? Teasingly and boldly nicknamed the Queen Of Disco, Sylvester had a clutch of hits and worked high heels with such fierceness that even Hedwig would have to step back and admire him. He also had a tragic, all too brief life that included being ostracized for being flamboyantly gay and brief success snuffed out by AIDS. But a musical? For me, Sylvester was always more interesting as a gay icon, a trailblazer, rather than as an artist. Hey, he has two or three great singles to his credit -- "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real," "Dance (Disco Heat" and "Do You Wanna Funk" -- and that's better than most acts can ever dream about. But it's not much to build a musical around.

Well, Mighty Real flips over everything I expected, mostly in good ways. Written starring, co-directed and co-produced by Anthony Wayne, it makes terrific use of the great singles and memorable covers of Sylvester, along with a handful of wisely chosen "surprises" to flesh the discography out. Actua...

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