Thursday, March 5, 2015
Honeymoon in Vegas
Modeled after the movie, Andrew Bergman and Jason Robert Brown have penned an entertaining evening in the theatre. Colorful, Vegas-style costumes and lighting fill the theater, while the large cast fills the stage with dancing, frivolity, and a whole lot of heart. Don't get me wrong - the show ain't gonna win a Pulitzer price for literature or drama in any stretch of the imagination. It's simply pure, unadulterated entertainment for just about 2 ½ hours. And why didn't anyone think of this sooner - Vegas show girls, gangsters, a mad-cap plot, and a couple you know - right from the start - have got to end up together.
If Mr. Danza is selling the tickets with his name (and still handsome looks), the secret weapon this show wields is Rob McClure. When he graced the stage in Chaplin, I believe it was the wise Newsday journalist who penned "Welcome to the show that's going to make you a Broadway star". And a star he is indeed. Mr. McClure is both nebbish and infectiously adorable. He can sing to the rafters, dance, and of course act the pants off this rom-com that graces the Nederlander stage 8 shows a week. While another Tony nod wouldn't be out of bounds, this show may not carry as much weight being a silly movie remake and all but if talent rules the day, he's a shoe-in.
I had a slightly difficult time thinking that Brynn O'Malley (Betsy Nolan) was actually the age they claim in the show, but that minor detail aside, she was a terrifically talented on-stage pawn in the game of Mr. Danza and Mr. McClure.
With a fine ensemble cast including Raymond J. Lee, George Merrick, Zachary Prince, and Nancy Opel (Bea Singer), if this show can sustain the winter blues, it just might make a splash this spring in the fun department in what is already lining up to be strong in the musical department.
This is a show that will tour well even if it doesn't succeed on Broadway. Des Moines - look out!