You might think that a show like "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," which was widely regarded as a timely musical satire when it opened on Broadway in 1961, would now look pretty dated. And you'd be wrong, as the big, bright, and tremendously entertaining Stages production clearly demonstrates.
There may be a more whimsical, charming, and funny show out there with more heart and smarts than “Seussical” at The Muny, but if so I have yet to encounter it.
When I praised Heather Matthews' performance in "Victor/Victoria" at Family Musical Theater, I said I did not recall having seen her before but hoped I would see her again. Now I have seen her again, though it took me awhile to realize that I was seeing her again.
What a long strange trip it has been for The Addams Family. They started out as a collection of unnamed characters in the creepy drawings of the late Charles Addams for “The New Yorker” in the 1930s, got names when they became sitcom stars in the mid-1960s, went through multiple live and animated TV incarnations beginning in the ‘70s, and were the subject of three feature films in the ‘90s.
The main thing you need to know about “The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess” is that it's not the Gershwins' “Porgy and Bess.” Let me me to explain.
Although George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" is now widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of 20th century opera, it took (to quote one of the opera's lyrics) "a long pull to get there".
It's doubtful that the 2006 stage adaptation of Disney's 1999 animated film “Tarzan” will ever make anybody's list of Great Musicals. But the Phil Collins score (expanded from the five numbers he wrote for the movie) is filled with songs that are never less the serviceable and, in the case of “You'll Be in My Heart” and “Sure as Sun Turns to Moon,” really quite moving.
It has been over three decades since I saw the 1979 Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager musical "They're Playing Our Song" on tour at the old American Theatre. I remembered it as a funny, sweet, and charming little show but, of course, memory is an unreliable witness. Is it as good as my memory said it was? And does the new Stages production do it justice?
Going to Florissant to see the Alpha Players' production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” I was thinking, do I really have to sit through “Spelling Bee” again? Yes, it's a charming and clever piece, but four or five or six times is enough. You can only squeeze so much out of it.
Turning movies into musical theatre has been a popular pastime for many years now. No surprise, then, that there have been multiple attempts to bring the much-loved 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” to the musical stage. With all those great Harold Arlen and “Yip” Harburg songs, after all, it’s almost a musical to begin with.