Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Gig" & "Marty"
"What Happened in Boston, Willie"
Reviews of Current Productions
note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Beverly Creasey
New Musicals Start
"Marty" & "The Gig"
Reviewed by Beverly Creasey
At long last Boston is again a try-out town. Two new musicals have just opened, one at the
Huntington Theatre and the other at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. Both are small-scale "Off-Broadway" offerings --- and both are worth a look.
The Huntington's "Marty" is based on the Paddy Chayefsky screen-play --- which got Ernest Borgnine recognized as a serious actor! --- with a sweet, nostalgic book by Rupert Holmes and pleasant songs by Charles Strouse and and Lee Adams. But you won't be leaving the theater humming the tunes: this is not your father's musical experience.
The story --- of a shy butcher who finds his match in a soft-spoken teacher --- fits into and around spunky production numbers, the best of which are Choreographer Rob Ashford's sassy "Saturday Night" and the dream date sequence for Marty's lovelorn buddies called "Saturday Night Girl". John C. Reilly is a solid, sympathetic Marty, but the peripheral characters have more fun --- namely Barbara Andres and Marilyn Pasekoff as the naughty old ladies who kvetch in the delightful "Niente Da Fare".
The Lyric's punchy production of Douglas Cohen's "The Gig", like his "No Way to Treat A Lady" last season, sports a fine cast --- and some great jazz thanks to Musical Director Steve Bergman. The quirky, light-hearted spoof is based on Frank Gilroy's screenplay, about five amateur musicians who throw caution to the winds and follow their bliss, signing on for a professional gig in the Catskills. They get insulted. They get fired --- but they follow their hearts.
The songs don't stick around in your head, but what you get from "The Gig" is a carload of fascinating characters, and a terrific showstopper in Brian DeLorenzo's soft-shoe number "Benny Goodman". Thoughtful, touching performances in Director Stewart Lane's focused production are turned in by DeLorenzo, Peter Carey and Paul Farwell, and on the distaff side by Kathy St.George and Elizabeth Asti.
"The Gig" (22 November - 12 December)
THE LYRIC STAGE OF BOSTON, INC.
140 Clarendon Street, BOSTON MA
"Marty" (till 24 November)
HUNTINGTON THEATRE CO.
264 Huntington Avenue, BOSTON MA