note: entire contents copyright 2003 by Beverly Creasey
Reviewed by Beverly Creasey
In springtime a young man’s fancy usually turns to romance but Henry Dewlip is busy all year round. In Benn Levy’s frothy comedy, SPRINGTIME FOR HENRY, his attention turns instead to reformation. Henry is a rich playboy who sleeps ‘til noon, has whiskey and soda for breakfast and steals woman away from friends, (In fact, his witty retort about stolen women is the most memorable quip from the show.) But he meets his match in the gorgeous, disapproving Miss Smith.
Levy’s l932 comedy delivers several nifty surprises and four spunky performances. Sparks ignite between Christopher Fitzgerald and Jessica Stone (and why not, they’re married in real life!) and director Nicholas Martin gets wry performances (and a spiffy tango) from the other couple, cheekily portrayed by Mia Barron and Jeremy Shamos.
Levy was a contemporary of Noel Coward, as the clever dialogue would indicate but the Huntington’s delicious soundtrack (Kurt Kellenberger) carries you off to Cole Porter territory so thoroughly that the itch you get for that sparkling, sophisticated banter of a Coward play isn’t really scratched by the Levy comedy, despite James Noone’s elegant Deco set and Michael Krass’ stylish ‘30s costumes. You end up wishing they had staged PRIVATE LIVES or SAIL AWAY or ANYTHING GOES instead.