Theatre Mirror Reviews - "A Grand Night for Singing"
"What Happened in Boston, Willie"
entire contents copyright 2009 by Tony Annicone
"A Grand Night for Singing"
Reviewed by Tony Annicone
The third show of The Community Players' 88th season is "A Grand Night for Singing". This show is a musical revue of the classic songs of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, presented in jazzy, new arrangements. The revue features songs from such lesser-known works as "Allegro", "Flower Drum Song", "State Fair", "Me And Juliet" and "Pipe Dream", as well as hits from "Oklahoma", "Carousel", "South Pacific", "The King and I" and "The Sound of Music". Created by Tony Award-winner Walter Bobbie, the show presents clever musical arrangements of old standards, including a sultry Andrew Sister-esque "I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair', a swingin' "Honeybun" worthy of the Modernaires and a jazzy "Kansas City". Nominated for Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical, "A Grand Night" will remind you why Rodgers and Hammerstein continue to be among the most beloved composers of American musical theatre. Directed and choreographed by Andrew Bobola and musically directed by Michael Savignac, the revue features five talented vocalists, Lia Del Sesto, Steven Dulude, Hans Foy, Deirdre Newbold and Heather Vieira as well as six wonderful dancers who do many different styles of dancing in this show. Over three dozen are performed in this high energy show. Their well known music is given a hip new look and feel while the dancers swirl around in several of the numbers. This is the show to cure those winter doldrums and bring a warm, sunny feeling back into your life after the very long winter.
Andrew moves the performers through with an impressive fluidity through their various groupings up and down the stairs and all over the set. While Michael creates the best sound on his keyboard which Victor Turenne, built a realistic baby grand piano around it to give the revue, an old fashioned feel. The set looks like the setting for "The Love Boat" with two long spiral staircases on either side of a two story platform with a rail on the front. The five piece orchestra and Michael are on the stage.He is on a platform center stage under the stairways and the two instruments on each side of the tiers in ascending order. "A Grand Night for Singing" starts off with the opening line of the intro of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from "Oklahoma" and is called All the "Sounds of the earth are like Music" with the five part harmonies then they break into humming "The Carousel Waltz" with the dancers doing ballet and leaps during it. Conspicuously absent are old warhorses like "Climb Every Mountain" and "You'll Never Walk Alone". Missing too are lesson songs like "My Favorite Things" and "Getting to Know You" and the declamatory love songs "No Other Love" and "Younger Than Springtime" are excluded.
"A Grand Night for Singing" (20 March - 5 April)
THE COMMUNITY PLAYERS
Jenks Auditorium, Division Street, PAWTUCKET RI