Went back to catch up with the Alliance Theatre production of the musical BECOMING NANCY tonight. Saw it early in previews and really loved a lot of it, vowed to go back before it completed its run (tomorrow). Jerry Mitchell, who directed, was back of the house both times-- he's clearly stayed with this one throughout its gestation.
So...I know the show is somewhat heavy handed and obvious... and I recognize that it pretty much is a cross between BILLY ELLIOTT and THE PROM... but the overall production is altogether wonderful. Tonight's audience reception was rapturous-- I spoke to a few folks who were on their second or third visit (second for me).
While I am inclined to like musicals, I'm no pushover. I've been dismissive of plenty of the Alliance's pre-Broadway runs (e.g. GHOSTBROTHERS OF DARKLAND COUNTY, BULL DURHAM, TROUBADOUR), including some that went to Broadway (BRING IT ON, AIDA-- then called ELABORATE LIVES). BECOMING NANCY has challenges, but so much of this production works so well that it'd be a shame if it didn't have a life beyond this. The score has some fantastic moments, the performances were brilliant and winning, the choreography was strong. It was inventive and moving and smart and funny. Just loved this experience and hope others get to enjoy it too.