Monday, October 02, 2006

[title of show] (The SOB Review) - Vineyard Theatre, New York, NY

[title of show] (The SOB Review) - Vineyard Theatre, New York, NY

*** (out of ****)

The "Let's put on a show" premise for entertainment is certainly nothing new -- it's likely as old as show business itself, albeit in varying derivations. But there's nothing derivative about the wonderful little musical [title of show], which I saw this past Saturday evening at New York's Vineyard Theatre. Not since The Musical Of Musicals-The Musical have I so thoroughly enjoyed such a delightful, decidedly small tuner with an enormous heart.

[title of show] is ostensibly about two friends who embark on writing a musical to enter into the New York Musical Theatre Fest in just under a month and then succeed in bringing it to life exactly as they wrote it against all odds. The engaging and endearing Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen essentially play themselves (and true to its premise, they wrote the actual book, music and lyrics, too). Along the way, they invite two female friends -- the effervescent Heidi Blickenstaff and the "handsome" Susan Blackwell -- to help shape the show.

Clever dialogue and a terrific score -- along with Michael Berresse's lovingly precise direction -- keep the 90+ minute show moving at a quick pace that's never dull and largely entertaining, particularly when they're dishing on some of Broadway's most renowned guilty pleasures or being interrupted via voicemail by some of the Great White Way's most acclaimed female stars. Best of all, they remain true to themselves and their vision.

Sadly, the show closed on Sunday. But something tells me this is not last we'll see of this earnest show, particularly since I'll bet that this musical likely rates as the favorite of at least nine people.... If it reopens, one can only hope that each of these talented actors will reprise their roles. [title of show] deserves a much wider audience. In the meantime, there's always the cast recording now available through Ghostlight Records.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for the cast recording.
Related Stories:
Making a Name for Itself: [title of show] Extends (August 16, 2006)

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At 02 October, 2006, Blogger StephenMosher said...

When I was a teenager, living with my family in Europe, we spent summers in America. Our first stop was a week in New York, where my father conducted business. After that--a month in Texas (from whence cometh my dad) and a month in California (to see my mother's family). The time in the big states and with family was always fun--but I LOVED those weeks in New York. That's where I started my love affair with Broadway.

During one of those trips, my mom and dad took me to see SUGAR BABIES. We were all anxious to see it--it was a big hit with the public, it sounded like fun and it had Ann Freakin Miller. Yeah, yeah..Mickey Rooney. Nuh-uh. It was ANN FREAKIN MILLER.

Then came the announcement. Ann Miller's mother had passed away that day and she was out of the show. The audience GROANED. People were invited to the box office for a refund and many left; but my parents said 'let's give the understudy a chance..'.

It was JANE SUMMERHAYS!! She was absolutely extraordinary. She was beautiful and funny and she could sing.. Have mercy. I have been a fan ever since.

The following summer, we came to New York for that first week; SUGAR BABIES was still running. I went again and this time Ann Miller was in. I'd say I've been pretty lucky..

Usually, if we arrive at the theater and see the person we came for is out, we get our tickets switched. But we live here, so that's an option for us--not an option for visitors. I remember that we had our tickets switched when Amanda Peet was out of BAREFOOT and when Delta Burke was out of MILLIE. I cannot, though, think of any other understudy stories I have.

Though I WANTED to see Maureen Moore in GYPSY and Karen Mason in SUNSET; but I missed them both.

At 02 October, 2006, Blogger StephenMosher said...

ps. SO SO Sorry about your Sutton track record. I saw her in all three roles and I must say: she is magical.

Persevere!! One day you will see her and you'll be happy.

I promise


At 03 October, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 03 October, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...


Thanks so much for your comments. Since they somehow inadvertently got attached to the [title of show] story instead of the understudy article, I've posted my return comments under "The Curse Of The Understudy" article instead -- just to keep the conversation running in the appropriate place.

All the best!


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