Regie Cabico begins his solo performance with an earnest ode to Filipino Catholicism and gay sex. No sooner has he pronounced the final line, “orgasmic palpitations made perfect by god,” than the sound system bursts forth with the ’80s hit “Manhunt.” This uneasy, if energetic, mix of the sacred and profane shades the whole of Cabico’s Straight Out. A poetry slam champ with a playwriting jones, Cabico is an obvious choice to appear in the first annual Urban Theatre Arts series—a speed date of a festival that attempts to introduce spoken-word performance to more-traditional theater. (The festival runs at Chashama till August 17.)
As the round-faced, swimmy-eyed, sweat-sheened Cabico illustrates, it’s not precisely a heaven-made match. The impressively diverse audience enjoyed his funny faces and manic dance moves and repulsive rendition of his sole attempt at heterosexual intercourse. But these bits never fuse into a theatrical whole. Perhaps director Reg E Gaines ought to have spent less time orchestrating unnecessary light shifts and more effort drawing together Cabico’s diffuse meditations. There’s amusement to be found in Cabico’s rendition of his mother’s rendition of Streisand or his own manglings of “Maria” and “Memories,” but a few assorted show tunes don’t add up to a proper revue.