Review: “100 Heartbreaks”

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Charlane Tucker’s got dreams alright. And she’s pretty sure she figured out a sure fire way to make them come true.

If she simply gets her heartbroken 100 times she’ll surely have earned the credibility as a country singer for Nashville to take her seriously and make her star.

It’s just that the problems with dreams (and their attendant plans) is that very often cloud your view of the happiness that’s right in front of you.

Joanna Garner’s charming and utterly enjoyable musical play “100 Heartbreaks,” through Feb. 14 at the Sahara Lounge, delightfully spins Charlane’s story. (Read a story about Garner’s creation of the play.)

Cleverly staged at the Sahara much like it’s an actual gig, “100 Heartbreaks” finds Charlane back in a small town Montana club, a year after she left behind Mark Larson (Heath Allyn), man number 52 of her 100 man heartbreak journey, and her one-time opening act.

Garner, who penned the songs as well as the script, has a pretty and rich-sounding voice and is superbly backed by guitarist Eric Roach, bassist Alexander Villarreal and drummer Robert Vignisson who themselves do a great turn playing the characters of the house band.

Joanna Garner and in "100 Heartbreaks." (Steve Rogers Photography)

Joanna Garner and Heath Allyn in “100 Heartbreaks.” (Steve Rogers Photography)

Garner and Allyn have a convincing chemistry as the stumbling lovers.

And the Saraha does a fine job of being the friendly dive club that it is, the strings of Christmas lights draping from the low ceilings and odd decorations are all authentic beyond question.

Director Jess Hutchinson makes great use of the site-specific staging and the action is fluid whether it’s the band playing and teasing each other on stage or Charlane and the play’s bartender (Sean Moran) are chatting it up over a whisky offstage.

If the story trajectory in “100 Heartbreaks” is expected, that doesn’t make the show any less enjoyable. With clever songs and a sweet story “100 Heartbreaks” is a sheer honky-tonk charm to watch.

Continues 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday; Feb. 8, 10 and 7 p.m. Feb. 14, Sahara Lounge, 1413 Webberville Road. $15. http://www.100heartbreaks.com


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