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|A CurtainUp Review
What In the World: The NEWSical
The talented four-member cast is a definite asset. I particularly liked Kelly Howe, the group's Off-Broadway newcomer, whose pixyish charm and throaty song delivery point to a promising career. All the performers are adept, versatile comedians with strong voices that are unnecessarily amplified by overhead miking given this postage-stamp sized theater. In the case of Christopher Regan's big booming voice this overmiking is downright irritating.
The staging is bare bones -- four chairs, a back panel behind which the performers disappear long enough to change into David Kaley's simple but wonderfully varied and apt costumes. As director Collette Black might have worked with Rick Crom to trim the so-so numbers, so she might have helped the show by streamliningg these blackouts. It should be noted that the back panel also hides the very able one-man band, musical director and arranger John McMahon.
Since, according to the program notes, the material in this show changes constantly, no song list is included. I rather doubt that the changes are substantial enough to warrant a repeat $40 ticket expenditure. If the producers really want repeat visitors, they need to offer a substantial discount to returnees.
What in the World isn't Rick Crom's first show of this sort and surely won't be his last. I'd like to see him do a full-fledged book musical -- like the hit Urinetown in which he appeared as an actor.
Mendes at the Donmar
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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