Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The World Goes Round"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2002 by Tony Annicone

"The World Goes Round"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Players second show of their 94th season is the musical revue of the songs of Kander and Ebb called "The World Goes 'Round". This terrific high energy show has only 5 performers in it with topnotch production values. Director Cait Calvo and music director/pianist Joseph Carvalho choose the best three women and two men to fill these roles. The choreography is outstanding and the set and costumes add the necessary colorful touches to this entertaining production.

The set is designed by J. Elijah Driscol, an architecture student from RISD. It consists of black silhouettes of New York buildings in the backgraound with stage right painted as a large carton of Lucky Strikes in a red and white pattern, center stage is a huge ashtray (where the percussionist is seated inside it while doing an excellent job on his various instruments) and stage left is an enormous green champagne bottle where Joe plays over 28 numbers beautifully. J. creates the right type of atmosphere with his design with set construction lead by Dan Clement. Another important element to a musical revue is the lighting and this show is no exception with the design by Ron Allen. The multicolored lights are run by Melanie Estes at her lightboard and the follow spot is handled by David Olsen. The numerous costume designs are by Whitney Cummer, assisted by Betty Keefe. The costumes are all striking and contain vibrant colors which make your eyes stayed glued to all the performe! rs.

The five talented members of the cast are Elizabeth Messier, Tara Beaulieu, Kelly McKenna Crowley, Dennis Bouchard and Adam Crowe. They sing in many varied numbers during the evening, using their alto, mezzo, soprano, tenor and baritone voices while doing so. Liz's solo numbers include "And The World Goes 'Round" from the movie, "New York,New York", "My Coloring Book", Kander and Ebb's first song and first hit in 1963, "Only Love" from Zorba and "Maybe This Time" from the movie "Cabaret". Liz sings all her numbers wonderfully but it is the latter one which brings down the house with her dynamic delivery. I first saw Liz's expertise in her songstylings when I worked with her in 1979 when she played Mama Rose in "Gypsy" ("Maybe This Time" is also done by Liz in an excellent trio arrangement with two other songs in the second act.) Another showstopper is Liz's duet with Kelly on the hilarious, "The Grass Is Alway's Greener". Tara Beaulieu is a tiny spitfire performer who sells al! l her songs with zest. (The first time I met Tara was when she was a tiny baby in her mother's arms.) Her solos include "Colored Lights" from "The Rink", "All That Jazz" from "Chicago" and "A Quiet Thing" from "Flora, the Red Menace". But it is in "All That Jazz" that Tara excells in her sexy dance moves. She also has a tender duet with her real life boyfriend Dennis in "When It All Comes True" from "Woman of the Year". Kelly's solos include the sexy "Arthur in the Afternoon" from "The Act",(Adam portrays Arthur in this song and has a funny strip at the end of it when Kelly rips off his velcroed pants. This is just one of his brilliant ideas of choreography in this show.) "How Lucky Can You Get" from "Funny Lady", "Ring Them Bells" from "Liza with a Z"(Kelly uses a blonde bimbo voice and wears funny catllike glasses while doing it) and "Isn't this Better" from "Funny Lady" which is a lovely ballad which shows off her soprano voice.The three girls also do an Andrews Sister type! song in "There Goes the Ballgame" from "NY, NY".

The two men also get an opportunity to shine. Dennis uses his tenor voice in the comical "Sara Lee" number about being in love with all her desserts, the serious ballad, "Not A Day Goes By" from "Woman of the Year", (reprised in counterpoint with Adam's solo, "I Don't Remember You" from "The Happy Time") another funny song, "Mr. Cellophane" from "Chicago" (he wears highwaters and a tiny little hat while wearing comic looking eyeglasses. What a hoot!) and the touching ballad, "Marry Me" from "The Rink". Adam not only has a fantastic baritone voice and dances like a pro, he also choreographs the whole show where the dance movements are reminiscent of Bob Fosse's choreography. Adam is the kind of choreographer who adjusts the dances to each of his actor's capabilities, making them all shine brightly. Adam's solos include "The Happy Time" ballad, "The Kiss of the Spider Woman" a frightening, sinister song and "We Can Make It" from "The Rink" done as a gorgeous trio selection with ! intricate harmonies. Adam's choreography is seen in "All That Jazz" and especially in the group numbers, "Money, Money", "Cabaret" and "New York, New York". The "Cabaret" number is sung in scat style giving it a new and different sound while the high energy, "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup" from "70, Girls, 70" is a jazz song. The important element to the dance numbers is the use of the hands as well as the feet which shows the choreographer has succeeded in his job.

So for a fun filled evening be sure to catch, "The World Goes'Round". Just call Lydia to become a member of this theatre club or you can email her at you won't be disappointed. (She can also tell you how to obtain tickets for the club's performances.) ps Be sure to look for one of the best moments at the end of Act 1 where Liz, Tara, Adam and Dennis perform the song, "The Rink" on roller skates.

"And The World Goes Round" (30 November - 8 December)
Barker Playhouse, 400 Benefit Street, Providence, RHODE ISLAND
1 (401) 273-0590

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