Last Edit: lordofspeech 06:31 pm EST 11/16/22
Posted by: lordofspeech 06:24 pm EST 11/16/22

I paid my shekels and got to see what I expected, a gal who can really sing and belt.
Unfortunately, though she does get to finish The Music That Makes me Dance, there have not been enough changes made. The show is still directed as a rousing crowd-pleaser with little subtley or real finesse in the romantic scenes. And Lea is not naturally funny. But she cares a lot, and there’s a sweetness to her commitment.
Ramin’s Nicky still seems too hale-fellow-well-met. Where is the venal self-absorption and the pretensions to class? His added song is still not great. Tovah is a real crowd-pleaser. As with a lot of the performers though, she italicizes her character. (And we know Tovah has greatness in her, so this is probably the directoral tone.).

It’s ultimately all still kinda cartoony, there’s still that unimaginative brick-wall of an all-purpose backdrop, the roses Nicki gives Fanny are still white not yellow, and for some reason (I hope it’s not just politically correct) Emma, Fanny’s dresser, is quite light-skinned and may not be African-American at all. Why change that?

The audience is of the hootin-hollerin and shrieking kind. It might be hard for any actress to bring them down to where they could actually listen to the playing of a scene for its emotional values. In retrospect, though she hasn’t got Lea’s thundering pipes, I think Julie Benko brought a more consistent vulnerability to the role, especially in her long final scene, which Lea can only find in « People. ». Lea’s good, no question. But, overall, the adult love-melodrama elements are more indicated than lived in. As it was directed, apparently.

Still, you’ll be glad you went to hear her knock those songs all the way down to Henry Street.

Previous: Awful. Just awful. (nm) - MockingbirdGirl 09:52 am EST 11/17/22
Next: re: Lea in FUNNY GIRL - conciergekey 12:32 pm EST 11/18/22

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