“Who Says Guys Can’t Have It All?”

Michael Dale,

Hey, all you corporate nine-to-fivers… You know that quick-witted guy in the office you can always depend on to lighten up even the dullest staff meeting with a wry observation? The fellow always crisply dressed in a dark business suit and a tasteful silk tie who never fails to keep ‘em laughing at the water cooler. Don’t you always think to yourself, “Man, that guy oughta be on stage.”? Well, guess what… he is! In fact, he’s a Nightlife Award and Bistro Award winning cabaret lyricist and performer!

At least that’s the case if you happen to work in the same office as Peter Yawitz. By day he’s a corporate executive with a wife and two kids. By night he’s a cabaret star singing songs he wrote about being a corporate executive with a wife and two kids. But you don’t have to be a cog in the system to love this guy’s show, A New Man, now playing at Helen’s Hideaway Room. Yawitz delivers the kind of button-down, intelligent humor that made people like Bob Newhart and Mort Sahl famous, only he sings it.

Directed by Helen Baldassare, Peter Yawitz sings in a In a clear, strong and straightforward musical comedy voice, presenting himself as just an average guy trying to make it through the everyday grind of being a husband and dad.

In “Not Good Enough” (music by Peter Lurye, lyric by Lurye and Yawitz) he sings of the tough entrance requirements parents have to deal with to get their kids in a good pre-school, and imagines rejection letters from the past:
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Newton,
Progressive parents such as you fail to see
The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree
And we noted with consternation
Isaac didn’t see the gravity of his situation
His comprehension well, it wasn’t the best
He failed to grasp that when it’s rest time he should stay at rest
A child bumped him by mistake. These things will happen, of course
But he struck back with equal and opposite force
In “Semi-Demi Intellectual” (music by David Friedman, lyric by Yawitz) he explains the quick phrases one can learn to appear sufficiently educated in any situation:
Rothko’s squares are kind of pretty
Magritte and Dali–weird but witty
Miró looks like lots of specs ballooning
Basquiat is awfully gritty
Mrs. Moses an old biddy
And I still can’t figure out what’s with de Kooning
In “Cliché Bingo” (music by Dick Gallagher, lyric by Yawitz) we get a power point presentation of overused office phrases and in “Talk Like a Guy” (music by Gallagher, lyric by Yawitz) we find out how to establish friendly male-to-male communication in almost any situation.
And when he’s not singing his own material, Yawitz adds unexpected domestic humor to numbers like Johnny Mercer’s “Dream” and the Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn “Five Minutes More”.

Musical director Matthew Ward composed a sort of super hero anthem for the soccer dad tribute “Lord of the Field” (lyric by Chris Atkins) and partakes in some humorous give-and-take throughout the show.

But the evening belongs to Yawitz. His easy manner, pin-point delivery and clever lyrical social commentary provide a hilariously entertaining hour.

P.S — On Monday night Yawitz and Lurye were honored with a Back Stage Bistro Award for the aforementioned “Not Good Enough”. Below is a special verse written for the ceremony with a few jokes about the Back Stage editorial staff; something for you insiders to enjoy:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Eaker,
At rehearsal for assembly Sherry left in a rage
We found her in our theater sitting crying Back Stage
“I wanna be the princess, not some poor steward
Why don’t you give that walk-on part to Davey Sheward”
For such a little girl she’s got ambitions quite large
She mutters, “Daddy, step aside so I’ll be in charge.”
“For my prince I do decree that Johnny Hoglund is my choice
‘Cause Davey Finkle’s cute but he already has a Voice.”
She’s not good enough
No we haven’t a doubt
If she had an assistant she’d be way less stressed out
If the stage is her aim, we recommend with no qualm
She stay away from actors’ access dot com.