“When A Man Loves A Diva” is a musical revue now playing at the Lab Theater. It has been mounted several times before and is back again thanks to audience demand. The same three men: Ben Bakken, Julius Collins and Dane Stauffer belt songs made famous by Dolly, Aretha, Adele, The Supremes and more.
The three guys have different singing, acting and dancing styles with were fun to watch. Julius Collins has a smooth voice but was a bit drab when it came to his dancing. Dane Stauffer was the comic relief. His eccentric mannerisms and silliness sometimes masked his good voice. Don’t be fooled, he is a great singer. Ben Bakken blew me away. He knows his power and uses his talent correctly. His range was displayed well in the show. When he belted “Rolling in the Deep” it was powerful; he scaled back and sang the raw “I Can’t Make You Love Me” but my favorite was “Heavenly Day”. In my opinion, standing ovations are given out far to freely these days. I prefer to wait until someone stands out. After Ben finished singing “Heavenly Day” I was aching to stand and clap but chose to hoot and holler instead. I’ve seen him perform before and enjoyed it. After watching him in this show, I have decided he is one of my favorite male performers in the Twin Cities.
A few highlights were: “Proud Mary” sung and danced before intermission, sing-a-long tunes, “Chain of Fools” and “Mercy” (blended in a cool mix), tribute to backup singers, waving candles from the table to slow songs and “the grapefruit method” of singing that Stauffer teaches the audience. The three guys wore all black and added suit coats during the second act. They were backed by musical director Sanford Moore and a small band. It was a fun night with great tunes and I would highly recommend it. Go listen to three guys sing powerful songs and enjoy! For more information contact the Lab Theater: http://www.thelabtheater.org/