The Kid from Brooklyn: The Danny Kaye Story

The musical is a pastiche of Kaye on and off stage, with little in tone or
impact to differentiate between the two. The best parts include his most
famous performances of such songs as “Deenah,” “Stanislavsky, ” “Anatole
of Paris,” “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” and “Minnie the Moocher.” His best
on-stage moment is an emotional one with wife Sylvia after discussing the
possibility of children, when they embrace and dance, tenderly and
suggestively, to “Ballin’ the Jack.”

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The Most Happy Fella -Florida Review

While “The Most Happy Fella” has been called “the most operatic of classic
American Musicals,” Loesser cleverly interweaves down-to-earth subjects.
Cleo soaks her tired feet in a basin of water while singing about how
painful they are, farm hands stand on a corner singing “Watching All the
Girls Go By, ” Rosebella and Tony perform a hilarious duet in “Happy to
Make your Acquaintance,” and Herman is dazzled when he learns how to make
a fist and sings a tribute to his hand.

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Sweet Charity

How interesting it would be to discover how many enjoy Sweet Charity as a light, fluffy, escapist musical, while still others may be struck by a culminating moral message of independence. While this is not as unique now as it might have been when the play first opened, it has a special significance today — following the shocking election upset.. At the risk of creating a spoiler, there was something quite provocative and pertinent about Charity, standing on her own, not needing a man to provide her happiness at play’s end. It is certainly a feminist affirmation.

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Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding

Under the fine direction of Paul Stroili, the large Chicago cast of 23 is
terrific — capturing all the nuances of a family gathering, complete with
vulgarities and squabbles. Stroili was a member of the Original Chicago
Company. Vinnie (Brian Noonan) is a very believable restaurateur, hosting
the gathering, touting its virtues as he tries to promote future business,
and emceeing the various entertainers. A good time was had by all.

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Scarcity

The solid cast handles all the complications brilliantly. Special kudos to
Grant and young Grey in portraying the volatile mother/daughter
complexities. Throughout, the family members come together and separate in
violent, angry combinations, achieving a certain amount of sympathy as
well as dismay. Sometimes close to being two-dimensional, they manage to
avoid becoming mere caricatures. The whole, compelling experience is
heightened by the physical arrangements of a stage which intersects the
audience. Twenty-four seats in tiered rows flank either side of the set.
This combination of dining room, living room, and kitchen is merely a
handbreadth away, drawing the audience into the action.

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FUNNY GIRL

The star, Sally Staats, is not Fanny Brice. Neither is she Barbara Streisand. It doesn’t matter because Staats has made this stage her own with a winsome, touching performance. She and Rob Ibanez, as the gorgeous, gambler Nick Arnstein share a magical chemistry. Even those who may think the 1968 movie version with Streisand and Omar Sharif can’t be topped will be surprised by what the immediacy of a well-done stage production can achieve. Staats and Ibanez are surrounded by a talented ensemble of actors, singers and dancers. Fanny’s long suffering mother is played with verve by Meagan Piccochi, who is especially delightful in interactions with her comedic poker-playing girlfriends. Jessica Noelle Evans nearly steals the show as noisy neighbor Mrs. Strakosh, and stately Bob Sanders is perfect as the often-thwarted showman, Florenz Ziegfield.

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