Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
The World Goes Round
Bethesda's Round House Theatre is offering up a delightful buffet in the form of the Kander and Ebb review The World Goes 'Round. The celebrated team of John Kander and Fred Ebb have created scores for well-known musicals such as Chicago and Cabaret. Conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson, this show pulls from a number of Kander and Ebb musicals and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable production.
The talent in this production is first rate. Helen Hayes Award winner Sherri L. Edelen kicks off the show with a lovely rendition of "And The World Goes 'Round." She is joined by another Washington vet, Jane Pesci-Townsend. Ms. Pesci-Townsend's performance of "Colored Lights" is poignant. And when these two ladies pair up, they are a force to be reckoned with. Ms. Edelen and Ms. Pesci-Townsend's performance of "Class" is the most entertaining that this reviewer has ever seen.
The rest of the cast is just as gifted. Will Gartshore's voice soars during "Kiss of the Spider Woman," and one can't help but be charmed by Gary E. Vincent as "Mr. Cellophane." Mr. Vincent is joined on "All That Jazz" by Mary Jayne Raleigh, who conveys just the right amount of sexiness and fun.
The piece is well directed Patdro Harris and Round House's Producing Artistic Director, Jerry Whiddon. The show moves well and the performers are shown to their fullest advantage. The choreography, provided by Patdro Harris, seems to be lacking in some spots but taken as a whole it is quite good.
Daniel Conway's set design and Alexander Cooper's lighting provide the perfect backdrop for this piece. Keeping with the "world" theme, a number of globes and chairs are suspended above the stage. Encircling them is a large keyboard. Titles such as Woman of the Year, Flora, The Red Menace and Cabaret are projected in the background.
Special mention must be made of Christopher Youstra who served as conductor of the show's excellent eight piece orchestra.
In the Kander and Ebb song "The Grass is Always Greener" the question is posed, "What's so wonderful?" What's so wonderful? Well, there is a lot that is wonderful about Round House's production of The World Goes 'Round. The World Goes 'Round runs through July 3rd.
Round House Theatre
Sherri L. Edelen