The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings

A CurtainUp Review
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever

On a clear day, rise and look around you
And you'll see who you are
On a clear day, how it will astound you
That the glow of your being outshines every star
You'll feel part of ev'ry mountain, sea, and shore
You can hear from far and near
A world you've never heard before
And on a clear day, on that clear day
You can see forever, and ever more
— Lyric from the title song, rendered by the ensemble of the Irish Rep's newly adapted revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
 On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Melissa Errico and Stephen Bogardus
Leave it to the invaluable Irish Rep's Charlotte Moore to rescue On a Clear Day You Can See Forever from that corner of the theatrical attic dustbin of musicals that despite considerable assets never managed to rise to genuine hit status.

To backtrack just a bit to the show's history. . .

Burton Lane wrote a lovely score for on a Clear Day You can See Forever. But, Alan Jay Lerner's book about extra sensory perception (ESP) proved problematic from the time it first premiered at the Mark Hellinger Theater in 1965.

Lerner cooked up a convoluted romance about a psychologist and practitioner of hypnosis named Dr. Mark Bruckner and Daisy Gamble, an over-talkative chain smoker. In the process of ridding Daisy of her chain smoking habit Bruckner discovers that in an earlier life she was a lady named Melissa Welles. As he becomes infatuated with Melissa, Daisy develops feelings for him, and thus competing with her other self for his affections.

As I said, On a Clear Day. . . wasn't a total failure. It lasted for 280 performance mainly because of the splendid performances and superb singing of its two leads, Barbara Harris and John Cullum, both of whom won Tony Awards. There was also a 1970 movie adaptation starring Barbra Streisand and Yves Montand. Though still regularly watched on YouTube, it wasn't a big hit either.

But with its ear pleasing score the show always had its fans, among them director Michael Mayer. If anyone coud re-conceive this half-full cup of entertainment into one filled to the brim, Mayer who so successfully directed Spring Awakening and American Idiot, was the one to do it. At least I, and a lot of other people optimistically thought so.

Unfortunately, Mayer's 2011 Broadway "revisical" (my review) with its new book by Peter Parnell was awful. Except when singing, even Harry Connick Jr as Dr. Bruckner couldn't save it. Except when singing, Connick's re-conceived hypnotist was actually boring. To borrow from the title, the over-miked, over reprised (there were 7!) production with its misconceived new book seemed to go on forever, and ever. It shuttered after just 57 performances.

Happily that 2011 Broadway misfire didn't discourage Charlotte Moore from tackling the show once again. Her new adaptation and as always astute direction do indeed turn On a Clear Day. . . into a musical entertainment cup that's filled to the brim with lovely songs. The story, will never be without credibility issues but it's now more fun than flawed.

The staging fits like the perennial glove into the company's handsomely refurbished but still intimate interior. Ms. Moore has made especially effective use of the stairs that now lead to the balcony to bookend the terrific Ensemble's rousing opening and closing numbers.

I can't think of a more ideal Daisy than the golden-voiced Melissa Errico, last seen here in Finian's Rainbow, another tuneful and enjoyable revival. And Stephen Bogardus, a new to the Irish Rep but a seasoned musical theater performer, is a well chosen Dr. Bruckner. He brings a nice mix of cool assurance and intensity to the doctor who in this version teaches a course on hypnosis and is something of a workaholic staff member of a psychiatric institute. His singing is also fine, especially in his solo rendition of "Melinda" and a thrilling "Come Back to Me."

Several of the other nine cast members ably double their roles for the story's present and past scenes. John Cudia as Edward the fickle artist Melinda loves and unwisely marries brings an operatic tenor to that role that could easily reach to the rafters of a larger house.

Though larger than it used to be, the stage is still small enough so that the ensemble dance numbers have to be geared to the available space. Choreographer Barry McNabb is undaunted by such constraints, and his finale for Act one is, in fact, spectacular.

No small measure of credit for what makes this production work belongs to James Morgan's scenic design and art for the projections by Ryan Belock that evoke the numerous locations without a lot of props. These include the rooftop of the Babizon Hotel for Women where Daisy and her friends Muriel and Janie live. . . Dr. Mark's office at the Stuyvesant Psychiatric Clinic and the Amphitheater where he lectures. . . an airport terminal . . . and the imaginary setups for Daisy's regression to her 18th century life and the peppy boat scene for Daisy and the Ensemble to belt our "S.S. Bernard Cohen." Bravo also to costumer Whitney Locher for the elegant white coat and hat that elegantly and seamlessly allows Errico to navigate between her Daisy and Melinda personas.

Of course, a musical that even in its most problematic versions, was praised for its score, the four musicians tucked in a corner at the rear of the stage and playing seven instruments (see production notes for who plays what) deserve a shoutout.

June is indeed busting out all over with these well worth seeing shows that make big impressions in small settings.

Musical Numbers
Act One
  • Overture (On A Clear Day. . .) / Ensemble
  • Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here / Daisy
  • First Regression / Edward
  • Ring Out the Bells / Melinda's 18th Century In-Laws
  • Solicitor's Song / Trundle Ensemble
  • Tosy & Cosh / Orchestra
  • He Wasn't You / Daisy,Ensemble
  • On a Clear Day You Can See Forever / Mark
  • S. S. Bernard Cohn / Daisy, Ensemble
  • She Wasn't You / Edward and Melinda
  • Melinda / Mark
  • Finale Act I – Trelawney No. 1 / Mark, Ensemble
Act Two
  • Who Is There Among Us Who Knows / Sally, Ensemble
  • What Did I Have That I Don't Have? / Daisy
  • Wait Till We're Sixty-five / Janie, Muriel, Daisy, Ensemble
  • Come Back to Me / Mark
  • Reprise: Come Back to Me / Mark
  • Trelawney No. 2 / Ensemble
  • Finale Ultime / Mark, Daisy, Ensemble

Search CurtainUp in the box below Back to Curtainup Main Page

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Music by Burton Lane,book by Alan Jay Lerner
Directed and newly adapted by Charlotte Moore
Cast (in order of appearance: Florrie Bagel (Sally and Flora),William Bellamy (Hubert Hinsdale),Stephen Bogardus (Dr. Mark Bruckner), Rachel Coloff (Mrs. Hatch, Mrs Welles),Peyton Crim (Chairman Larim, Solicitor Trundle), John Cudia (Edward Moncrief), Melissa Errico (Daisy Gamble/Melinda Welles), Caitlin Gallogly (Janie Preston_, Matt Gibson (Warren Smith), Daisy Hobbs (Muriel Benson), Craig Waletzko (Conrad Fuller, Mr. Samuel Welles)
Music direction by John Bell
Choreography by Barry McNabb
Scenic designer: James Morgan
Lighting designer Mary Jo Dondlinger
Sound designer M. Florian Staab
Projection Designer: Ryan Belock
Hair Styles: Robert-Charles Valance
Music direction by John Bell
Choreography by Barry McNabb
Orchestrations by Josh Clayton
Orchestra Conductor: Gary Adler
Musicians: Melanie Mason (cello), Karen Lindquist (harp),Jeremy Clayton (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, recorders), J.J. Johnson (violin, viola).
Stage Manager: Arthur Atkinson
Running Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes, includes 1 intermission
Irish Rep Main Stage 132 West 22nd Street
From 6/15/18; opening 6/28/18; closing 8/12/18
Reviewed by Elyse Sommer at 6/26/18 press preview

Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
  • I agree with the review of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
  • I disagree with the review of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
  • The review made me eager to see On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Click on the address link E-mail:
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):

Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email. . .also the names and emails of any friends to whom you'd like us to forward a copy of this review.

For a feed to reviews and features as they are posted at to your reader
Curtainup at Facebook . . . Curtainup at Twitter
Subscribe to our FREE email updates: E-mail:

©Copyright 2018, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from