Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Stop, Look! Listen!"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Beverly Creasey


Listen Up

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

Anyone interested in the history of the American musical owes a debt to American Classics. Each year Ben Sears, Brad Connor and company outdo themselves with a historical performance you won't see anywhere else (unless you saw it its first time around).

This year they presented a staged perf of Irving Berlin's second musical "Stop, Look! Listen!" with a corny book by Harry B. Smith --- out of which Bob Jolly made a silk purse), and gorgeous music by Mr. Berlin ... performed by Boston's top singer/comedians.

Director David Frieze's stellar cast included Valerie Anastasio and Brent Reno as jaded lovers, and Mary Callanan as the world's most ferocious mother-in-law-to be --- not to mention Mary Ann Lanier as an ingenue chorusgirl, and William Thorpe as her wily agent ... accompanied to beat the band by Margaret Ullmer. Don't miss their next revival meeting!


"Stop, Look! Listen!" (??? November)
AMERICAN CLASSICS


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Gig" & "Marty"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Beverly Creasey


New Musicals Start
in BOSTON!

"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.

"Marty"

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 Gig" 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
1 (617)437-7172235-0488
"Marty" (till 24 November)
HUNTINGTON THEATRE CO.
264 Huntington Avenue, BOSTON MA
1 (617)266-0800


THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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