My One and Only

 

Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwingershwin

Book by Peter Stone & Timothy S. Mayer

Directed & Choreographed by Tammy Mader

Music Direction  by Michael Mahler

At Marriott Theatre, Linconlshire

Fabulous tap dancing to Gershwin’s toe-tapping music makes My One and Only a most entertaining musical

Among the great tap dancing musical, My One and Only ranks with 42nd Street, Singin’ In the Rain, Crazy for You and Anything Goes. Featuring Gershwin’s jazz infused rhythms that explode into tap, My One and Only is a silly plotted affair that only exists to offer a small thread for exuberant tap dancing numbers. Under director/choreographer Tammy Mader, dancing and tongue-in-cheek humor fuels the fun-filled romp back to the 20’s where the girls wore short hair and skimpy dress and the guys donned stripped pants and loud jackets. It was the era of fun times, especially at speakeasies and dance clubs.

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Book writers Peter Stone and Timothy S. Mayer have concocted a story that finds Captain Billy Buck Chandler (Andrew Lupp), a barnstorming aviator pinning for Edythe Herbert (Summer Naomi Smart), an ex-English Channel swimmer staring in Prince Nicolai’s (Roger Mueller). International Aquacade.

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Mickey (Paula Scrofano) is smitten by Billy as she works as his airplane mechanic. The Reverend (Felicia P. Fields) gets Billy a make-over by Mr. Magix (Ted Louis Levy) so Billy can seduce Edythe into a romance.  The New Rhythm Boys (Quinn M. Bass, Jarran Muse and Clinton Roane) sets the show’s tone with their silky-smooth tapping.

gershwin

gershwin

In a series of silly adventures and complications, Billy and Edythe navigate their way to romance and happiness. We laugh, smile, and tap our toes through the bouncy rhythmic Gershwin songbook. Led by the fabulous dancing by the ageless Andrew Lupp and his love interest soul mate, Summer Naomi Smart, the lovers dance heartily reminding me of those Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers MGM movie musicals. Add the smooth taping by Ted Louis Levy and the fabulous ensemble and My One and Only plays out as a dance extravaganza. Summer Naomi Smart is vivacious, beautiful with a fine voice and she can dance wonderfully. her and Andrew Lupp have a spark on stage that is infectious.

Gershwin’s songbook features “I Can’t Be Bothered Now,” “High Hat,” “He Loves and She Loves,” “‘S Wonderful,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,’ “Funny Face,” and the rousing “Kickin’ The Clouds Away.”  Loads of tap, soft-shoe,  the Charleston dancing was nimbly  performed by the sleek ensemble.  Besides all those show-stopping big dance numbers was the macho dance-off  between the fleet-footed Levy and Lupp to the  song  “My One and Only.  These two guys put on a tap clinic!

Add the comic chops of Roger Mueller as the nasty Nikki and the amazing Paula Scrofano,  these two added an energy comic turn to tune “Funny Face.”  My One and Only looks great with Nancy Missimi lavish 20’s Era costumes and sounds terrific with Michael Mahler’s bouncy arrangements of Gershwin’s score. Come see this musical to experience one of the finest tap show done exquisitely. It is a through-back show from a time when musicals were light, fun-filled and toe-tapping. What’s not to like?  This show will leave you smiling and totally entertained.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: November 16, 2012

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the My One and Only page at theatreinchicago.com

At Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire, IL, call 847-634-0200, www.marriotttheater.com, tickets $40 – $48, Wednesdays at 1 & 8 pm, Thursdays & Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 4:30 & 8 pm, Sundays at 1 & 5 pm, running time is 2 hours, 20 minutes with intermission, through January 6, 2013.