Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern

The World Goes 'Round
The Songs of Kander & Ebb

Also see John's review of Urinetown, the Musical

Rachel Becker, Gregg J. Maliff, Gina Nespoli, Kendra Spring Adams & Mark Andrew Fetterly
The Lake Worth Playhouse opens their 55th anniversary season with a production of the musical revue The World Goes 'Round - The Songs of Kander & Ebb. Conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson, The World Goes 'Round highlights the collaborative works of composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb. For anyone who may somehow have missed the impressive body of work of these two men, they are the creators of musicals such as Cabaret, Chicago, Woman of the Year, Kiss of the Spider Woman,, The Rink, Zorba, 70, Girls, 70, The Happy Time, and the films New York, New York and Funny Lady.

Director Bruce Linser and Choreographer Rob Dawson have successfully elevated this production from a musical revue to a delightful collection of musical stories. Taking songs out of their original context can whitewash the intent of the song and the character singing it. This production has added settings for these songs that satisfyingly replace or replicate the originals. The staging for the songs "The Happy Time" and "Colored Lights" connects the two songs and charmingly adds the vision of the Little Girl played by Kendall Moe. The staging for "I Don't Remember You" and "Sometimes A Day Goes By" effectively weaves together a story, as does the combination of the three songs "We Can make It," "Maybe This time" and "Isn't This Better." The only two numbers that miss the mark on staging are a disturbing "Kiss Of The Spider Woman" and "Mister Cellophane" which opts for violence over simplicity. The entertaining choreography in this show, whether comedic such as in "The Rink" or technical such as in "All That Jazz" is sure to please the audience

From her first note in the song "And The World Goes 'Round" Gina Nespoli is a talent to reckoned with. She belts with a sensual warmth and dances "All That Jazz" with Fosse perfection. Kendra Spring Adams beautifully acts and sings the songs "Colored Lights" and "How Lucky Can You Get." Her aloof, blonde beauty nicely contrasts with Nespoli's dark looks. Rachel Becker does a great job singing "Maybe This Time." She has some moments in the show that seem less polished, however, and comes off as the least experienced in this production.

The two men, Mark Andrew Fetterly and Greg J. Maliff, both have pleasant lyric voices and a comfortable quality on stage. Unfortunately, neither have the dramatic meat in their singing voices to really nail songs such as "Kiss Of The Spider Woman" and ""We Can Make It." The show may also have benefited from one of the two men being a stronger dancer, as at least the songs "Sara Lee" and the "Marry Me"/ "A Quiet Thing" duet are normally staged to feature male dancing ability.

Cheers to the five-piece orchestra led by conductor/pianist Tom Kenaston for playing this music so sharply. It lays the foundation for the singers to step up to the plate with them. The cast sings the sometimes difficult harmonies quite well from start to finish, providing us an enjoyable musical visit with the works of the talented team of Kander and Ebb.

The World Goes 'Round - The Songs Of Kander & Ebb will appear at the Lake Worth Playhouse through October 28, 2007. The theatre is located at 713 Lake Ave. in Lake Worth, FL. The Lake Worth Playhouse is a Resident Community Playhouse. Performance times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays at midnight. Tickets are $23-$28. Group rates are also available. For more information about the theatre and its programs, you may contact them by phone at 561-586-6410 or online at

Woman #2: Rachel Becker
Man #1: Gregg J. Maliff
Woman #3: Gina Nespoli
Woman #1: Kendra Spring Adams
Man #2: Mark Andrew Fetterly
Little Girl: Kendall Moe

Director/Costume Design: Bruce Linser
Music Director/Conductor:Tom Kenaston
Choreographer: Robert Dawson
Lighting Design: Futz Cappel
Stage Manager: Lissen Ellington

Photo: Nina Vincent

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere

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