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LETTERS TO EDITOR
The Prince and the Pauper
The Prince and the Pauper is a new musical version of the Twain classic, with a largely successful book by Bernie Garzia and Ray Roderick. What one may find missing in the book is more than made up for in the music and lyrics by Neil Berg and Bernie Garzia. The songs are amusing and fun, if not witty. Especially moving are the wonderful bits between Tom (Gerard Canonico) and the Prince (Dennis Michael Hall). The boys play marvelously together and quickly capture the audience's attention. Both have wonderful voices. They are energetic and rather dashing.
The overall pacing of the work moves swiftly and smoothly. Director Ray Roderick has done his best to keep things moving. He is also to be praised for the fine performances he gets from the young leads. The entire production is polished. For this, the creative team is to be commended. The lighting design left me in the dark, however, as I couldn't understand why the lights went out on players before they were finished their numbers. And there were certain transitions that left one somewhat bewildered, but this may be a problem of the middle-aged viewer. The kids in the audience found the whole thing vastly entertaining and missed nothing.
The adult players are almost as good as the kids. Michael McCormick, who plays the father of both boys as John Canty and as King Henry, has a Victorian command of the stage. His King captures the satiric spirit of Twain's story, being at once regal and absurd. Rob Evan as Miles is dynamic. He has a powerful stage presence and sings grandly. Altogether the male leads are excellent and hold the show together.
The writers, perhaps going back to Twain himself, seem to have slighted the fairer sex, as one can't help but notice how male dominant the piece is. Nonetheless, Rita Harvey (Lady Edith) and Allison Fischer (Lady Jane) perform admirably, making the most of their time on stage and sing their hearts out.
This piece is decidedly children's fare. The conflicts are morally simple and the drama never emotionally deeper than sentiment will allow. But if the adults are going to bring their kids along, why not have a show to take them to? This is a show the entire family can enjoy.
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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