Thursday, February 05, 2009

Music in the Air is Sugary Sweet!

The Encores! Music in the Air is sweet, but fortunately, thanks to very funny turns by Douglas Sills and Kristin Chenoweth I didn't sugar overdose. It's an old show - it first opened on November 8, 1932 and was briefly revived in 1950. This was the invited dress so there were a few industry people there as well as school groups, members and sponsors. We entered through the stage door, which was a little thrill for me. We didn't notice until intermission that we were sitting across the aisle from John Kander!

The first and last scenes were a bit excrusiatingly old fashioned and silly for me, but every moment that Sills and Chenoweth were on stage was a joy. It was true musical comedy. Music in the Air, by Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern, is considered operetta but came in an era of American theatrical evolution. I have never been much of the Chenoweth antics, but I very much enjoyed her here. She was off-book and her delivery and timing was on spot. Her performance seemed effortless and she was in great voice. She and Sills were also very funny together. He's a strapping, handsome baritone and paired with her miniscule stature, they could have just stood there and gotten the laugh. It was fun to see Marni Nixon back on stage and she sang a very sweet song. Sierra Boggus and Ryan Silverman were sweet as the young lovers, with voices perfect for this syrup. I loved seeing David Schramm too in the non-singing role of the music publisher.

As far as Encores! productions go, this is no No, No, Nanette or Follies, but it was a fun and warm way to pass the very cold evening in New York City. Music in the Air opens tonight and runs through February 8th.

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