There's a lot to be said in favor of a musical dance revue with no pretensions, one that only aspires to provide a full evening's worth of world-class entertainment then send the audience home in a charmed, exhilarated, and thoroughly happy mood. Such a rare show is Swing!, which opened last night at the St. James Theatre. Sans plot, storyline, or anything that even looks like any sort of thread constructed to link the various dance and song numbers together, Swing! succeeds brilliantly on its own terms, as a dazzling display of some of the best music and dancing styles to emerge this century, specifically from the 30s and 40s. That this music and these dances have recently come back into fashion, indeed in some circles fairly define the term "trendy," is perhaps no accident. It's all about good, old fashioned fun. No guilt-ridden angst here, Swing! resonates with a joyous confidence in life, love, and the pursuit of happiness via intricate and masterful choreography.
In addition to a group of the best dancers Broadway has to offer, wonderfully directed and choreographed by the amazing Lynne Taylor-Corbett, ample room is made for the wondrous song stylings of Laura Benanti, Everett Bradley, and the reigning goddess of cool cabaret jazz Ann Hampton Callaway, aided and abetted by the glorious Casey MacGill and The Gotham City Gates. In short, an embarrassment of riches.
The exuberantly colorful and at times ambulatory set by Thomas Lynch, sexy, faux period costumes by William Ivey Long, and smoothly subtle lighting by Kenneth Posner all contribute greatly to the general mood of uninhibited enthusiasm.
If you just want to have fun, this is the show to see. It's without question the feel-good musical of the season. And so trendy, too!
Swing Directed and choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Production supervised by Jerry Zaks. Scenic design by Thomas Lynch. Costume design by William Ivey Long. Lighting design by Kenneth Posner. Sound design by Peter Fitzgerald. Original concept by Paul Kelly. Aerial flying by Antigravity Inc. Orchestrations by Harold Wheeler. Musical supervision by Michael Rafter. Music direction by Jonathan Smith. Featuring Ann Hampton Callaway, Everett Bradley, Laura Benanti, Laureen Baldovi, Kristine Bendul, Carol Bentley, Caitlin Carter, Geralyn Del Corso, Desiree Duarte, Beverly Durand, Erin East, Scott Fowler, Ryan Francois, Kevin Michael Gaudin, Edgar Godineaux, Aldrin Gonzalez, Janine LaManna, Carlos Sierra-Lopez, Rod McCune, J. C. Montgomery, Robert Royston, Jenny Thomas, Keith Lamelle Thomas, Maria Torres, with Casey MacGill and The Gotham City Gates, and Michael Gruber.
Theatre: St James Theatre, 246 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036 (between Broadway & 8th Avenue)
Running time: Approximately 2 hours including one 15 minute intermission.
Audience: May be inappropriate for children 6 and under. Children under 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
Schedule: Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 7 PM, Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM Beginning December 14 Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM, Sunday at 3 PM Added performances Monday 12/20 at 8 PM, Sunday 12/26 at 7 PM, Monday 12/27 at 2 PM and 8 PM, Thursday 12/30 at 2 PM, Sunday 2/20 at 7 PM Curtain Time exceptions Sunday 12/26 at 2 PM, Sunday 1/2 at 2 PM, Tuesday 1/25 and Tuesday 2/1 at 7 PM (Kid's Night on Broadway), Sunday 2/20 at 2 PM No performances Friday 12/10, Friday 12/24 at 8 PM, Saturday 12/25 at 2 PM, Thursday 12/30 at 8 PM, Friday 12/31 at 8 PM, Saturday 1/1 at 2 PM, and Wednesday 2/16 at 2 PM
Ticket prices: $80, $60, and $30, Wednesday Matinee $65, $50, and $30 There is an additional $1 per ticket Restoration Charge for the restoration and preservation of the theatre.
Rush tickets: $20 tickets are available at the Box Office only on the day of the performance with valid ID, subject to availability.
Standing room: Standing room is available only at the Box Office on the day of the performance, and only if the performance if sold out.
Tickets in person: Box Office hours Monday through Saturday 10 AM to 8 PM, Sunday Noon to 6 PM
Tickets online: www.telecharge.com
Tickets by phone: Tele-charge at (212) 239-6200, or outside the NY metro area (800) 545-2559, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Tickets by E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets by snail mail: Swing, PO Box 998 Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108-0998 All mail orders must include the additional $1 per ticket Restoration Charge.