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Thursday, 13 September 2012 20:35

'My One and Only': The Perfect Musical

Written by Connie Bollinger
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The Details

  • Director: Michael Hamilton
  • Dates: September 7 - October 7, 2012
'My One and Only': The Perfect Musical
stagesstlouis.org

The minute C.K. Edwards, Richard Riaz Yoder and Boris York as the New Rhythm Boys stepped or I should say glided onto the stage, my musical loving side knew it was in good hands.

I grew up watching Hollywood's premier hoofers on TV and the cast of My One and Only is definitely on a par with those famous tappers.

The costumes by Brad Musgrove are dazzling, the sets, courtesy of James Wolk are scrumptious and innovative and there are tappers galore, all dancing in perfect unison. They exude confidence and professionalism, smiling and winking, doing the old style steps, singing in the old rhythms and harmonies. I was in heaven.

The plot to the story is appropriately negligible since the music of the Gershwins and the superb dancing are the heart of this production.  Director Michael Hamilton and Choreographer Dana Lewis do a fantastic job of moving people gracefully and precisely around the stage.

David Elder is the male lead, Captain Billy Buck Chandler, a Texas pilot determined to be the first to fly non-stop around the world. Mr. Elder is wonderful to watch. He's tall and fit, properly handsome and he dances ala Astair, that seemingly effortless style that I so admire. An echo-step routine between him and equally super dancer Dexter Jones was incredible and fun and didn't last nearly long enough for me. Mr. Elder also has a polished voice, and Gershwin tunes suit him to a tee.

Edythe Herbert, long distance swimmer, is played by Tari Kelly who matches Mr. Elder in poise and grace and just plain good dancing and can the girl sing! Edythe and Captain Billy fall hard for one another and their duets are wonderful.

Zoe Vander Haar is Mickey the airplane mechanic. She is a delight. Steve Isom is the villain, Prince Nicky, a Russian spy out to do Captain Billy harm. He is charming; slightly evil, but mostly charming. He sings a great duet with Mickey the Mechanic, Gershwin's "Funny Face." It's one of the highlights of the show.

Prince Nicky's "Little Fish," Dana Winkle, Julie Kavanaugh, Kayla Elizabeth Hall, Brittany Rose Hammond, Ellen Isom and Gabriela Gamache, have the most wonderful starfish costumes. They dance many numbers during the show, rhythm tap, a little ballet, and a belly dance that's really fun.

The Dancing Gentlemen, Craig Blake, Joe Gandy, Jason Luks, Tony Niederback and John T Wolf step through the production, snappy, smiling, eyebrows raised with perfect "watch what I can do" attitude.

Larry Mabry, John Flack and Boris York round out the cast, effortlessly dancing and singing much to the audience's delight if you consider the many standing ovations during the performance.

You won't believe the finale, it's Strike Up the Band done every bit as spectacularly as Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney's version. And if you demand loudly, you will get a gobsmacker of an encore. It was pure fun and delight, a treat for the world weary.

Additional Info

  • Director: Michael Hamilton
  • Dates: September 7 - October 7, 2012

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