Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern

The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!

Also see John's review of Christine Andreas

The Jester Theatre Company and The Cultural Trust of the Palm Beaches present The Musical of Musicals - The Musical! at the new Grand Marquee Theatre in Wellington. The comedic musical review features music and book by Eric Rockwell, and lyrics and book by Joanne Bogart.

The Musical of Musicals - The Musical!'s pianist/narrator and four-person cast take the audience on a satirical journey through the eyes of five different composers all using the same conflict: "who will pay the rent?". The five composers are: Rodgers & Hammerstein, Jerry Herman, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew LLoyd Webber, and Kander & Ebb. For a musical theatre novice the show would be totally confusing. For an avid musical theatre fan, it is heaven. Writers Rockwell and Bogart have captured bits of the musical essence of each of the five composers, and written songs in that style. Naturally, some of the songs have deliberate musical imitations. The lyrics should keep you on your toes as they continually tie in bits of the writers' lyrics, comments on their style, reflections on the stars made famous by the shows, and just plain cheap puns.

The set for this production is the most basic of cabaret settings, with the pianist center stage and the performers all in black. Natalie Cordone is our heroine, unable to pay her rent in each of the stories. She has a lovely voice and is best overall as Juny in the Kander & Ebb version of the story. The boyfriend-to-the-rescue/hero is played by Todd Allen Long. He is the strongest dancer in the cast and sings best as Big Willy in the Rodgers & Hammerstein section.

The kindly aunt/quirky sidekick character is Kate O'Neal. She is truly versatile whether drunkenly belting, singing like Marlene Dietrich, or playing the overacting Abigail Von Schtarr. The villain/landlord is Kevin Kelly. He has fun playing the heavy, but is at his best as the Emcee-style character in the Kander & Ebb section. This is a cute comic farce for the musical theatre fan.

The Musicals Of Musicals - The Musical appeared from January 25 -27, 2008 at the Grand Marquee at the Cultural Campus located adjacent to the Mall at Wellington, at 2175 Wellington Green Dr., in Wellington, FL. The Grand Marquee is a 8,200 square. ft. theatrical pavilion with over 500 seats, and gourmet concessions for food/beverage that will be the new temporary home for the 2008 program series by The Cultural Trust of the Palm Beaches. For more information and/or tickets, please call the box office at 800-514-3849 or go to The Jester theatre is Orlando's only all-comedy theatre company; and is dedicated to exploring, creating and producing comedy in all its forms. This performance is produced in partnership with The York Theatre, New York, and made possible by David and Millie McCoy.

Kate O'Neal: Mother Abby/Abby/Auntie Abbie/Abigail Von Schtarr/Fraulein Abby
Todd Allen Long: Big Willy/Billy/William/Bill/Villy
Kevin Kelly: Jitter/Jidder/Mr. Jitters/Phantom Jitter
Natalie Cordone: June/Jeune/Junie Fay/Junita/Juny
Jim Rhinehart: Narrator/Pianist

Director: Jay Hopkins
Musical Director: Jim Rhinehart
Choreographer: Heather Delmotte
Scenic Design: Jay Hopkins & Alea Schroeder
Lighting/Sound Design: Charlie Downs
Stage Manager: Jason Horne

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere

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