Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Florida - Southern

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!

Avi Hoffman and The New Vista Theatre Company present Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! - The Allan Sherman Hit MusicalHello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!  was conceived and written by Douglas Bernstein and Rob Krausz and originally produced by The Circle in the Square Theatre in NYC.  It received four Drama Desk Nominations and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Musical.

Allan Sherman caught the eye of America during TV's Golden Age as the genius behind the legendary Goodson-Todman game show "I've Got A Secret."  In 1963, his satirical song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!"  became the number one song in the country, selling more than one million copies in ten weeks.  The song won Sherman the 1963 Grammy for Best Comedy Performance.  He went on to record numerous comedy albums such as My Son, The Folksinger, My Son, The Nut, and My Son, The Celebrity.   He also wrote the book and lyrics for the Broadway musical The Fig Leaves Are Falling and penned his autobiography A Gift Of Laughter before passing away in 1973 at the age of 49.

Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! traces the lives of Barry and Sarah from cradle to retirement through a series of Allan Sherman songs loosely strung together in a comedic romp.   The show highlights the satirically rewritten songs for which Sherman was most famous.  Some of the humor is admittedly dated by current standards, but nonetheless is audience-pleasing for those with a taste for its Catskills comedy flavor.  If any of the satirical rewrites are unfamiliar, the original melodies certainly are not.  The show features songs such as "Won't You Come Home, Disraeli?" (to the tune of "Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey?"), "Grow, Mrs. Goldfarb" (to the tune of "Glow Little Glow Worm"),  "Shine On, Harvey Bloom" (to the tune of "Shine On Harvest Moon"), "Harvey And Sheila" (to the tune of "Havah Nagilah") and of course the title song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!" (to the tune of Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours"). The songs, written with Sherman's unoffensive wit, gently poke fun at the stereotypical Jewish-American nuclear family of the time period. 

Wayne LeGette and Stacy Schwartz are pleasing comedic catalysts for the action around them.  Most memorable is their performance as infants in the song "Sarah Jackman" (to the tune of "Frère Jacque").  Avi Hoffman bustles his way through the show as a kind of colorful Jewish fairy godfather.  His delivery is akin to Mel Brooks.  Oscar Cheda is funny and versatile in numerous roles.  Samara Dunn is best as the mother of the bride, deftly channeling a middle-aged Lainie Kazan.   

The set and costumes are simple but effective in this pleasant, unpretentious production.  The show was presented June 19, 2008 - July 6, 2008 at the West Boca Performing Arts Center.  The West Boca Performing Arts Center is located 3 miles West of 441 at 12811 Glades Rd. in Boca Raton, FL. For information and tickets you may contact them by phone at 561-482-4144 or 888-284-4633, or online at

The New Vista Theatre Company is a professional theatre company, founded by Artistic Director Avi Hoffman. The theatre presents plays and musicals year round, hiring both Equity and non-union actors and actresses. New Vista is a division of The National Center for Jewish Arts, Inc. (NCJCA), a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation. The purpose of this division is to produce professional theatre for the South Florida community utilizing the 850 seat West Boca venue.

Barry: Wayne LeGette*
Sarah: Stacy Schwartz*
Phil et al: Avi Hoffman*
Harvey et al: Oscar Cheda*
Sheila et al: Samara Dunn*

Director: Michael Leeds**
Music Director: David Cohen
Assistant Choreographer: Chrissi Ardito
Scenic Design: Ian Almedia
Lighting Design: Lance Blank
Sound Design: Traci Almedia
Costume Design: Paula Villar
Stage Manager: Andrew John Tucker*

*Indicates a member of Actor's Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

**Indicates a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, an independent national labor union.

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere

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