Saturday, November 22, 2008
On the Town: Reincarnation at City Center!
It's as if Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munchin were reincarnated and put right on that stage at City Center last night in the Encores! On the Town. I love the 1949 movie so much and I couldn't have been happier with the staged production I saw last night. From the very first moment that the curtain rose and the orchestra on stage began playing the Star Spangled Banner and we all stood immediately, to the very last moment of the exit music, I was smiling ear to ear. Leonard Bernstein's glorious score, Jerome Robbins' gorgeous choreography and Comden & Green's wonderful book all came to life before me so perfectly that I wish I could just rewind it all and watch it over and over, just I like I have with the movie. It couldn't be cast better: Justin Bohon, Christian Borle, and Tony Yazbek as the sailors in New York for just one day; Jessica Lee Goldyn, Leslie Kritzer, and Jennifer Laura Thompson as the girls they meet and love; and Andrea Martin there to cause us to hold our sides from laughing. I loved Christian and Justin. They were truly wonderful, singing and dancing just like they needed to. And remember Summer 2007 when we saw Tony Yazbek in the City Center Gypsy we thought he was just like Gene Kelly? Here he gets to play a role made famous by Gene Kelly in the movie. Thrilling! Leslie and Justin nailed "Come Up to My Place" and she really hit it out of the park on "I Can Cook Too." Ditto for Jennifer Laura and Christian on "Carried Away". I loved seeing real life married couple Tony and Jessica dance beautifully in the Coney Island subway dream ballet. Nothing could have been lovelier. The entire cast brought it home exquisitely. My only beef is directed at the sound people: fix it so the dialogue can be heard in the gallery! We could heard the people laughing below but we had no idea what was so funny. Fortunately, there was less of a problem with the music. Thank God. There are still a few more performances so get yourself over there before you regret it!
at 7:56 AM