Homer nods, so I suppose it was inevitable that Cy Coleman might
eventually write a musical without a single memorable song, or that
Comden and Green's legendary wit and invention would someday fail them.
regrettable that both happened at the same time, in this 1978 musical
based on a classic 1930s screwball comedy about a producer trying
desperately to sign a big star in the course of an overnight train
to run for a year on Broadway, so this ambitious fringe theatre could
reasonably hope that, even though the elaborate sets of the original
production were the only things the critics liked, a small-scale
revival might find charms hitherto missed.
McBride and his cast do show that the two central characters are
delightful comic monsters and that there are a couple of secondary
roles that can add to the fun.
recognises that the producer must be constantly over the top in his
self-dramatisations, giving him some of the flamboyance and charm of a
young Richard Dreyfuss, while Rebecca Vere is her funniest when she
evokes images of Carol Burnett doing Joan Crawford with a lisp.
they and the
rest of the amiable and hard-working cast are ultimately defeated by
the total absence of exciting, witty or hummable songs, leaving the
show to plod where it wants to gambol, perversely perking up only
between songs when the performers can generate some energy through
their broad comic acting.
one has to be strictly for musical comedy buffs looking to plug an
obscure gap in their experience of the genre.
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- On The Twentieth Century - Union 2010