Last Edit: sergius 09:23 am EDT 03/19/23
Posted by: sergius 09:19 am EDT 03/19/23

DEAR WORLD is one of those whimsical anti-authoritarian shows—ANYONE CAN WHISTLE was another—that seem typical of the 1960s. Like so much of musical comedy in general, it exalts wide eyed innocence and pluck as determinative, but the trope that the people united can never be defeated was particularly resonant then. Still, the show never manages to be entire; it’s a good part not a good musical. Countess Aurrliea is one of Jerry Herman’s indefatigable, charmingly naive, heroines; she’s a character. She's lost her mind and is the better for it. Murphy, unsurprisingly, finds some sorrow, rage even, in the madcap. Her rendition of “I Don’t Want to Know,”—by far the show’s best song—is gripping. And she’s very funny, somehow managing to evoke Angela Lansbury, who of course played the part originally, even as she remains her dotty self. She’s a great, old school musical theatre star. What surrounds her isn’t on her level because the show isn’t much apart from her role. This said, I can’t imagine a more fulsome rendering of this material. DEAR WORLD looks and sounds lovely here, as slight and blurry as faux optimisim, yes, but still dear.

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