“Face the Music”

City Center, New York • 31 March 2007 • 8pm
Music & lyrics by Irving Berlin. Book by Moss Hart.

Directed by John Rando. Musical director: Rob Fisher. Choreography: Randy Skinner. Starring Judy Kaye, Lee Wilkof, Jeffry Denman, Meredith Patterson, Mylinda Hull, Eddie Korbich, Felicia Finley, Chris Hoch, Timothy Shew and Walter Bobbie.

Absolute and unadulterated bliss. When Encores! does what it was intended to do, i.e. present shows that have become unjustly forgotten, the result can be mesmerising. Nobody ever quite did it as well as Irving Berlin and Moss Hart. They certainly knew how to write shows in those days. Charming songs, witty dialogue, light-hearted fun aplenty… Face the Music is the perfect feel-good musical. Who could ask for anything more? I know I’m sounding like Man in Chair from Drowsy Chaperone, but that’s exactly how I felt for the best part of two hours.

Rob Fisher, John Rando and Randy Skinner seem to have got everything just right. With a superb cast headed by the magnificent Judy Kaye, they have paid the perfect tribute to the good old days of musical comedy. The dance scenes, in particular, are a dream come true. No, really, they don’t make them like that any more. And that’s a downright shame.

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