Beverly FriendFlorida ReviewsREVIEWS

Danny Kaye and Sylvia: A Musical Love Story

Black Box Booking and Hy Juter
Willow Theatre
Book by Robert McElwaine
Original Music by Bob Bain
Director, Larry K. Bramble
Musical Director, Annaliesa Trethewey
Collaborative Couple:  Good Apart — Great Together

The hottest theater topic in South Florida right now seems to be the life
of world famous entertainer Danny Kaye, with two new musicals based on his
life (1911-1987). “Danny Kaye and Silvia: a Musical Love Story,” just
opened at the Willow Theater in Sugar Sand Park, Boca Raton, and “A Kid
from Brooklyn” (beginning with his earlier years), will start at the Stage
Door Theatre, in Margate, in February.

The “Musical Love Story,” opens slowly, when Danny (Larry Buzzeo) and his
future wife Silvia Fine (Katie Angell Thomas), meet at the audition of the
1939 “Straw Hat Review.” Fine, who had written the music and lyrics for
the show, is initially turned off by “Danny Kaminsky’s” high jinks. Here,
begins the story of a disciplined writer/composer and her shaping of a
wild, redheaded, genius performer.  Linked like puzzle pieces, they create
something better and bigger than either of them could have achieved alone.

Fine reins in this multi-talented, versatile actor, singer, dancer,
comedian and clown, but not without the cost of suffocating him. She is
definitely the stronger of the two. Act I builds on their linked careers,
and a marriage which she initiates. Act II finds Kaye chaffing at her
decisions, rebelling and heading off to create and manage a fantastically
desirable booking on his own at the Palladium in London. Can either
succeed without the other?

This provides essential conflict and suspense in a story which otherwise
would be limited to a nostalgic review of songs and shtick. Buzzeo and
Thomas throw themselves energetically into their roles and do justice to
the material which includes such famous numbers as “Tchaikovsky,” “Balling
the Jack,” “Anatole of Paris,” and, of course, “Minnie the Moocher.”
Beverly Friend, PHD, Member American Critics Assn.

Willow Theater in Sugar Sand Park, 300 S. Military Train, Boca Raton,
Florida, 561-347-3948 Tickets $35, 8 p.m. Thursday,
Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Jan 29.