REVIEWS - "Definitely Doris!"

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide


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note: entire contents copyright 1996 by Jamie McGonnigal

"Definitely Doris!"

                        Directed by  Jerry Goehring
                       Choreographed by Gary Slavin
                 Set Designed by Helen Pond & Herbert Senn
                  Musical Arrangements by Leo P. Carusone
                   Musical Direction by Meri-Lee Mafera


                              Robert Amirante
                               Nancy Carroll
                                Ed Romanoff
                             Michael Iannucci
                             Kathy St. George

                        Produced by Jerry Goehring
                           at the new 57 Theatre
                             Stuart St, Boston

Boston Theater is growing in many strange and unusual ways.
Either way it is fantastic to see any growth at all, after the slump it was in during the late 80's and early '90's. One of the directions it has taken is the route of the musical revue. The revue is perhaps the earliest form of the American musical theater.

One such revue is now playing at the 57 Theatre, on Stuart Street in Boston (newly renovated from movie house to legitimate theatre) .

"Definitely Doris" is an energetic look at the music and life of the legendary Doris Day. The show takes a candid look into her extremely intriguing life, using her songs to carry the show along, and commercials and actual fan letters sent to Doris Day as dialogue. Much has been added together to make this a competent and compelling production.

The cast, made up of 3 men and 2 women, is extraordinary. They are all highlighted at one point or another, throughout the show. Robert Amirante's smoother-than-silk voice gives him a charming quality and presence as he performs "I'll See You in My Dreams." Nancy Carroll is captivating and lovely to watch in her "Ten Cents a Dance." Ed Romanoff leaves them rolling in the aisles throughout the show with every comic element he adds. Michael Iannucci's boyish quality could make any grandmother smile, and last but certainly not least, Kathy St. George is a joy to behold, bringing a beautiful voice and presence to the stage.

So, yes the cast is brilliant, but it does not stop there. Perhaps the best part of this production is Leo P. Carusone's musical arrangements of Day's music. Each song (whether you've heard it before or not), becomes something new and invigorating, giving a whole new life to Day's songs. The music is executed beautifully by a three person combo, under the direction of Meri- Lee Mafera.

The set, designed by Helen Pond and Herbert Senn is breathtaking. With two adorable houses and a gazebo (in which the combo is playing), you feel as if you're outside in the country, enjoying a lawn concert, rather than in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Boston.

Gary Slavin's choreography is great. Every movement is completely appropriate to not only the song, but the entire mood of the show.

Under the direction of Jerry Goehring, "Definitely Doris" is well worth the look-see. Whether you are familiar with her music or not, this is a show that will open your heart to the beautiful sounds of Doris Day. Call the Box office at 617.426.4499.

-Jamie McGonnigal

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide