A showcase for the prolific songwriter and showman Irving Berlin, "Holiday Inn," in performance at the MUNY in Forest Park through July 12, 2015, is stuffed with memorable melodies and toe tapping dances, then finished off with a happily ever after. The charming, nostalgic musical recalls the post war optimism of the late 1940s and 1950s, and is a fond toast to the resiliency of the American spirit. Though opening night suffered from several technical glitches and a dropped line or two, the fast-paced show, directed with a sure hand by Gordon Greenburg, zips along quite nicely, gaining momentum throughout.
"My Fair Lady," Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's interpretation of the George Bernard Shaw play "Pygmalion," is light, airy, and filled with wonderful little songs nearly everyone knows. The show is a jewel in the crown of classic American musicals, and the Muny's current production sparkles. The talented cast clearly enjoys the show, and they deliver an abundance of spectacular moments that are framed and complemented by the excellent band and technical crew.
In "West Side Story" saturated colors against shadow-filled backgrounds and the boldly familiar choreography of Jerome Robbins, as reproduced by Joey McKneely, reference the tradition of this now classic show. Troika Entertainment's production at the Fox refreshed that tradition with spectacularly rhythmic dance and an elegantly woven English and Spanish language interplay.
There's a sweet and honest charm to "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." The show doesn't over-promise and it's impossible to take too seriously, ensuring it remains a favorite go-to show for amateur and professional companies alike. With a focus on frequent and easy laughs, the show is also a can't-miss crowd pleaser.