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Kimberly Katz

Kimberly Katz

Marriott Theater

South Pacific is still a great musical full of wonderful romance and social commentary about racism that is important for young and old to experience today and I was thoroughly impressed with this warm, happy, romantic interpretation of the classic show.

I reviewed a larger production of this show last summer but found it lacking in the romance and joy that this cast brought to the show in spades.

All of the voices in this production were outstanding. Stephen R. Buntrock as “Emile de Becque” really played the role nicely with a good sense of humor and his vocal numbers soared with great feeling and the experience of a seasoned pro bringing the entire audience under the spell of new and intoxicating island romance.

Elizabeth Lanza as the down to earth “hick” “Ensign Nellie Forbush” was a joy to watch.

Lanza also has a great voice and her enthusiastic, good natured portrayal of Nellie falling in love with De Becque during “( I’m in Love with) A Wonderful Guy” was exactly the type of joyful, naïve, and honest portrayal of true love and excitement that the play needs to counter the heavy nature of the tragedy of war.

Bethany Thomas was absolutely stunning as “Bloody Mary”.  Bethany Thomas’ vocals are rich and impressive and she iss able to both hit the high notes and get the laughs in this role, which can be heavy handed if not approached just the way she did, with more warmth than anger and a hopeful mother’s dream of marriage for her daughter “Liat”.

The set design, by Thomas M Ryan is a delicious tropical island in the round with low hanging palm trees and soft pools of light. The set was a delight to behold and immediately placed the entire audience right in the middle of the warm tropical heat and action from the moment the play began.

Few other musicals actually open with the leads falling in love at first sight to magical, unmatched quintessential lyrics like:

Some enchanted evening

When you find your true love,

When you feel her call you

Across a crowded room,

Then fly to her side,

And make her your own

Or all through your life you

May dream all alone

                                                    

I highly recommend seeing the Marriott Theatre in Licolnshire’s production of South Pacific for the many wonderful vocal performances of spectacular songs like “Some Enchanted Evening”, “Bali Hai” and “Younger than Springtime” and also for the wonderfully warm, inviting and joyful interpretation of this enduring classic about true love.

South Pacific is playing at Marriott Theatre (10 Marriot Drive, Lincolnshire) is playing through June 2nd. For more information visit  http://www.marriotttheatre.com

Fela! is based on the biography of Fela Kuti, a Nigerian superstar singer, musician, and composer who became an iconic spokesman for the country's underclass against the brutal and corrupt Nigerian military government in the 1970s and 80s.

Playing at the Arie Crown Theatre in McCormick Place through Saturday, Fela! is a magnificent show that should be seen and celebrated by everyone.

The first thing that really blew me away about this show is the incredibly beautiful and sensual style of dancing with the live onstage drummers and band to delicious expressive music termed "Afro Beat".

I've said in the past that the very best dancers are also very expressive actors, and the entire cast of dancers in FELA are absolutely in this A+ class. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, each dancer shows such remarkable individuality and style. While other musicals are increasingly strict and rigid in their dance styles, FELA's dancers remain completely free and unique, almost as if they are dancing for their freedom and the freedom of Nigeria's underclass right now on America's stages.

Adesola Osakalumi is absolutely electric as the Nigerian icon, Fela, and gifted vocalist Michelle Willaims of Destiny's Child is a stunning addition as Sandra, one of Fela's true influences during his formative years.

I really think everyone, young and old should see FELA! to realize how horrific it is for anyone to live under a military regime, and that in some ways we as Americans are also being held down and manipulated by our own government's corruption on many levels of our daily lives.

 

michelle williams fela

 

There are a few terrifying and powerful scenes though that should be explained to younger viewers in advance, like the 12 year old girl sitting next to me with her mom who needed consoling after the show.

When Fela Kuti describes his brutal interrogation by the police and says, "See this blade? It is to slice up your face. See this broken glass? Well, it is to shove up your A--!"

Later, when Fela's family camp is surrounded by 1000 police officers, who then proceed to gang rape and torture Fela and his wives and throw Fela's mother to her death from an upper story window, it is portrayed as calmly as possible but is still very disturbing, as it should be.

I have already made plans to see FELA! For a second time because the music and dancing and message of overcoming unspeakable violence and human rights violations is so uplifting and empowering.

FELA! produced by Jay Z and Will and Jada Smith, is a MUST SEE and of all the shows I personally have seen in Chicago this year, FELA, really is the most exciting and important of all by far in terms of music and dance originality and political relevance for the entire nation.

rudolph2

I do love all the standard holidays shows and music that come with the season but there comes a point where I feel overloaded by all the sticky sweet extravaganzas and tearjerkers and just want to  laugh my ass off. That is when I head straight to Mary's Attic for a good dose of the campy, mind-opening fare that director/composer David Cerda always serves up in style.

 

2012 is the fifteenth anniversary of Cerda's camp classic that Chicago audiences have come to know and love that spoofs the 1964 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” TV special. This prancy Rudolph is a reindeer who wears red hose under his coveralls and is picked on for being neither gay enough for the other gay vogue-ing reindeer, nor straight enough for the bucks who pull Santa’s sleigh. With hilarious yet meaningful songs like "They'll Hate You If You're Different", "Christmas Makes Me Bitter" and "If You Want To Catch A Man, Don't be Yourself! (You've got to HO HO HO it.)" “Red Hosed Reindeer” successfully conveys the message, and makes everyone in the audience feel, that "Being Normal - isn't normal at all!"

 

Ed Jones steals the show as a sex starved, drunken, Mrs. Claus, desperately eating pills out of Santa's hand and then again later in the show in a mind-blowingly funny Cher impersonation as “The Drag Beast”.  Wide-eyed and lithe dancer/singer Alex Grelle as “Rudolph” is also fantastically funny. The audience never knows whether “Rudolph” is just a cross dressing reindeer or gay, which I like because it shows that there is a lot of hyper-criticism in the gay community, too - pressure from all sides to be "normal". I also loved Santa’s mournful, lusty rendition of “(God) I Miss Her So" when Mrs. Claus finally makes her escape from Santa’s verbal abuse and philandering with female reindeer.

 

As always, Cerda’s productions comes complete with a large, tremendously funny cast, well-dressed in outrageous costumes, and show stopping musical numbers.

 

If you are a little tired of all the shows and commercials endlessly pushing the perfect family and picture postcard presentations down your throat - then run, skip or sashay - don't walk - to catch one of the performances of “Rudolph The Red Hosed Reindeer” at Mary's Attic in Andersonville  this year. You will leave feeling like a million “bucks”… have just helped you with your makeup and hair and declared you fabulously ab-normal!!

 

For tickets and information visit www.handbagproductions.org.              

rockettesMerry Christmasukah!

Looking for a fun way to get you and your family into the Christmas spirit?  Look no further – The Radio City Spectacular at Rosemont’s Akoo Theatre featuring the Rockettes pulls out all the stops. From singing Christmas favorites to the dazzling famed  New York chorus line, this show has your Christmas fun covered.

The show begins with the classic holiday hit, “Sleigh Ride”, as the Rockettes are dressed in reindeer leggings and antlers as they prepare to pull Santa’s sleigh. Jumping from one festive scene to another, the show also features the Radio Hall Singers and of course, Santa Claus himself.

The production includes incredibly original and unique versions of many Christmas favorites including “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, “Here Comes Santa Claus”, “The Nutcracker” and “Joy to the World”. Numbers are complimented with magnificent screen displays in the background, amazing costumes and imaginative choreography including “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” where the Rockettes incredible dancing concludes with the illusion of the full line soldiers all collapsing in perfect slow motion into each others arms after a silent cannon blast.

There was a great slide show presentation with the full illustrious history of the Rockettes and how the Radio City Music Hall was saved from destruction by their unwavering popularity with audiences. The current lineup of Rockettes are all amazingly gifted dancers, the caliber of their dancing ability in all forms including tap and ballet is still unmatched par none.

My favorite number was  “New York at Christmas”, which featured a marvelous moving double-decker bus and I Max screen illusion wherein the audience and Rockettes are driven around a  romantic and snowy white New York City at Christmas time. I used to live in Manhattan and it really brought back such beautiful stunning memories of ice skating in Central Park and watching the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center, pure magic!

Rockettes13Also, “The Living Nativity”, which created the illusion of a vast star lit, celestial night sky above the stage while the audience watch the three wise astrologers cross the desert following the brightest star to Jesus birth was brilliantly and reverently performed.

It was also a special delight for me to observe the many little girls in the audience watching these fantastic dancers with awe,  obviously studying dance themselves. I saw the show the same day as the tragic shooting of schoolchildren in Connecticut and found this incredibly entertaining and joyous performance the perfect way to be reminded of the beauty of humanity and the power of dance, singing and  theatre to give  real hope to our nation's children for a safe and peaceful future.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular will be playing at The Akoo Theatre through December 30th. Be sure to check it out if you can!

jeff garlin step

I just love Jeff Garlin's work. It was really great to see him in his second  two week run at Steppenwolf Theater here in Chicago titled, "Closer Than I Appear", a year after his sold out run there with "No Sugar Tonight".

 

Each show started out with Jeff telling the audience they probably expected that since he was appearing at Steppenwolf, a theater known for it's serious, polished dramatic scripts  that his comedy show would be something he had really written out and planned but then he warns the audience  "I have prepared nothing. I'm relying on my wit." Garlin is a Chicago native, raised in Morton Grove and a Second City Alumna so when he relies on wit and improv based off the audience you really get a great taste of the genius underlying his "work in progress".

 

Half of the meaty 2 hour plus show was devoted to riffing off the audience including one couple he found out had flown in from  Florida just for his show that night. "We call you gold," he said as he took out his wallet and reimbursed the couple for their Spirit air tickets in cash and gave them his own unused carry on bag as a souvenir.

 

Garlin is a Jew after my own heart when he chummily relates Hollywood insider secrets like how to know who's closeted in Hollywood based on which way the family picture on their desk faces.  "The closeted executive has his family picture pointed outwards to impress his clients with his  "beard"- the straight man wants his family's faces where he can see them all day."

 

Although Garlin's unique genius lies in his sometimes meandering stories that suddenly wind back and grab you after winding down several corridors you didn't see coming, like his description of all the stores in an absurdist shopping mall where one store would just have an "old man handing out bags of raisins for free". But his one liners still get me like "If Hostess had only gotten behind pot reform, they'd still be in business" or "I wish I could have raised my wife."

 

Garlin is happily married and I've read his wife  makes him edit his act occasionally. I loved his joke about napping with young women. Garlin says he would never leave his wife but he still has a strong desire to take naps with pretty young women. "Just a nap, that's all I want to do with them - And let me tell you something, once a beautiful woman takes a nap with me, she never wants to nap with anyone else!"  And on his weight, "I think overeating is the least sexy addiction. I mean think about it, if you drink or take drugs, you will still get laid. I've never seen a woman look at a fat guy and say, Oh man, I want that! I want  to just climb on there and just bang the hell out of him - he must like Entenmann's as much as I do."

 

It is a great pleasure to hear him in this relaxed yet focused Steppenwolf setting performing and talking about the city he knows so well, "I consume everything Chicago!" and "The Reader gave me a bad review. F-ck the Reader." 

 

There is something indescribably satisfying about the way he sort of rambles around for a bit then out of nowhere reels us back in, sometimes just by saying, "I lost you for about 20 minutes there. It's okay, I'm going to give the audience members with A-D-D a chance to escape early."

 

Garlin looks and is admittedly much healthier physically than he was last year but still jokes about his appearance wearing black jeans and a t- shirt by saying , I am  the most comfortable comedian in show business, not the funniest- but the most comfortable. Experiencing him bouncing the audience on his comfy  Chicago born lap for over two hours made me feel like I was at home with one of my funny uncles at Chanukah time. It was comfy AND funny, funny as it gets. I genuinely look forward to seeing his "work in progress" progressing comfortably again next year. 

rockyI love celebrating Halloween and seeing a live stage version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show is a

perfect way to do it. 

Rocky Horror by Awkward pause Theatre Co. is a  funny, stylish and sexy production. They will give you a bag of participation toys including rubber surgical gloves and wedding bubbles and instructions in case you are a virgin. If  just haven't seen Rocky Horror in a while and have forgotten the great adlibs like shouting out “Asshole” at Brad or “Slut” at Janet, they have some plants in the audience to help you out. Seeing Rocky Horror performed live at classic Mayne Stage really brought back great memories of the first times I saw Rocky at the Biograph in Chicago and The Coconut Grove in Miami with my high school and college friends.

A live band brings all the favorite Rocky songs to life including the memorable “Time Warp”, “I’m Going Home”, “Damnit Janet” “Over at the Frankenstein Place” and the upbeat “Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul”. From the opening number “Science Fiction/Double Feature” it was apparent that this was going to be one of the better productions of Rocky Horror. The singing throughout was very good and the costumes were the perfect finishing touch.

Michael Buonincontro was absolutely fabulous as “Frankenfurter” and really took command of the stage from the moment he first appeared to his signature number “Sweet Transvestite”. Erin O’Shea and Corey Mills were tons of fun as “Brad” and Janet” while Megan Schemmel rocked as “Magenta” and Kevin Buswell did a great job as “Riff Raff”.

Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show” is playing select dates at Mayne Stage Theater through Halloween’s midnight performance. Mayne Stage is located at 1328 Morse Ave in Rogers Park. For more information, visit www.aukwardpausetheatre.com.  

Matt Goss

Well, this is really exciting. It's not often I get to be surprised by and discover new talent. The American entertainment scene is so over processed and over exposed there is little left to actually discover. I generally just end up reminding my readers of old favorites of mine that still deserve attention.

 

However, this gifted performer, Matt Goss, is from England and very few Americans including myself have ever heard his name before, which seems implausible given that he and his twin brother, action adventure film star Luke Goss (Hellboy, Death Race 2&3, Diary of a Hitman) were part of a pop/rock group in the UK which sold over 16 million records.

 

The group named Bros achieved a total of 11 top 40 singles and 3 Top 20 albums in the United Kingdom, making them one of the biggest acts in British music between 1988 and 1991 and at one time were outselling U2. They reached number one when "I Owe You Nothing" was reissued in 1988.

 

They weren't just one hit wonders either, singing other peoples songs. Often, boy bands were assembled by managers or record producers with an eye toward the predilections of preteen girls. Normally, the boys didn’t play instruments, but they sang in harmony and had some swoon-worthy moves.

 

Although Bros were managed by former Pet Shop Boys manager Tom Watkins,  Matt and Luke wrote their own songs, played all their own instruments and continued having hits throughout the late 1980s, including "Cat Among the Pigeons" and "Too Much", both which made UK #2 during 1988 and 1989. After taking huge losses financially due to early contract signings and a true savaging at the pens of their own once adoring British press as backlash to their overwhelming early success, you can flash forward twenty five years and both Bros have landed on their feet with solid and lucrative entertainment gigs. Luke Goss with a burgeoning acting career and Matt Goss with a solo songwriting career and a sweet weekend gig headlining at Caesars Palace Friday and Saturday nights and always to a sold out house.

 

Now I'm just going to tell you flat out that you will enjoy Matt's concert, whether you are a seasoned Vegas traveler like myself who has seen all the big shows, or a new Vegas vacationer looking for a real, old school Vegas entertainment experience. I love a big Cirque show, yes, but after a few days of these mammoth thousand seat auditoriums, I really do love the idea of relaxing in a darkened booth, in a cozy, little theatre with a drink on the table right in front of me and the performer himself within eye shot. Matt Goss' concert in the ambient venue The Gossy Room located in Cleopatra's Barge at Caesar's Palace is cozy, intimate, ambient and dynamic at the same time.

 


imagejpeg 2Matt Goss does a combination of classic romantic standards mixed with his hits from the UK and brand new solo music. Even if you don't recognize all the songs, there is no denying that you are hearing a world class vocalist with tremendous vocal range and intricate phrasing on a par with young contemporary song stylists like Maroon 5's Adam Levine,  Michael Buble' and Harry Conick Jr. as well as old blue eyes, Sinatra himself.  Funnily enough I was most impressed by a short burst of brilliant, Jazz/ska scat singing which briefly turned the room into a full on island party!  It was marvelously energetic and very impressively performed. I'd love to hear an entire  EP  with more of that youthful, bouncy, ska rhythm.

 

Goss's show in the aptly named Gossy Room really does try to provide a little bit of the old school glamor and charm we imagine was present during the Rat Pack days. Matt Goss pumps up the sun burnt Vegas crowd and celebrities in the house with a dynamite 7 piece band, two sexy back up singers and  half a dozen, hot, leggy showgirls who have been cast and choreographed by Pussy Cat Dolls creator Robin Antin.

 

I loved Cleopatra's Barge, the cozy venue which reminded me of sailing in a plush Disney Pirate ship like Pirates of the Caribbean, and I wouldn't trade the experience of seeing Matt sing in a small venue. I would love now to hear Matt Goss rich vocal styling in a larger auditorium. As he performs and jokes with the audience and his band on the intimate stage, Matt gives off an energy like a large caged panther, pacing restlessly, longing to stretch his legs, dance and move more and burst out vocally as he has in the not so distant past at the Royal Albert Hall. I could easily see Goss' show being just as successful in a larger more elaborate Vegas showroom/set , or in a classy New York night club of the same size.

 

I lived in Manhattan for several years and It's ironic I ate at a restaurant in the New York casino across the street from my hotel ,the MGM Grand, before seeing Matt's show because when I walked in I felt a very  strong NY swagger  about the place  and a bit of NY attitude.  I also sensed a strong NY/ European vibe which proved to be correct as Matt asks at one point in the show how many here are Americans and only a few of us raised our hands. Then Goss asks how many are Brits and the room swells with the applause of at least 50 per cent of the audience. I just think that's extraordinary, that we have kind of an English superstar performing right here in Vegas and yet very few people here in the US know about his fantastic voice.

 

Truly there is something for everyone in Goss' concert, the super sexy dancing “Dirty Virgins” for the men, for the ladies, Matt Goss - a smokin' hot performer with the most piercing, actually smoldering blue eyes you've ever seen and a nice, tight, talented band for fellow musicians and real music lovers like myself.

 

I got to experience something really special as well before the show which really sums up the glamorous, “eye of the tiger” energy Matt Goss brings to the Gossy room each night.

 

Matt Goss and Kimberly Katz Sat 2 1I was in Matt's suite before the show, when time and energy allows he hosts a small, mellow gathering of friends and assorted guests in his lofted 4bed 4 bath Penthouse suite at Caesars'. I got a chance to make "the walk" with him and his security personnel through the vast Caesar's Palace casino floor to the stage

 

I could barely keep up with him in my heels with a bum knee as well, but I won't soon forget the sweeping rush of being swept back in time, almost as if I was in a movie watching Sinatra or Dean make this same power walk through Caesar's Palace with such terrific magnetism, greeting the guests and waving as the fans parted to let this stunning gentleman sweep through the crowd.

 

I used to go to Vegas several times a year, and there are a few shows like “O” and my old friends Louie Anderson and Frank Marino that I must see over and over again to really get back into the swing of Vegas spirit and humor.

 

Now we go to the strip just once a year  for our Buzz Vegas Feature but I will definitely add my new friend, Matt Goss, and his concert at Caesar's Palace  to my personal Buzz list of “must see” entertainment each time I return. You and all your crew are invited, too!

 

 

  

Showtime is 9:30PM Friday and Saturday nights.

 

You can buy tickets for Matt’s show in person at the Coliseum Box Office in Caesars Palace or from the Ticketmaster website.

 

 

Stay tuned for my interview with Matt next week and also check out Matt Goss's website for news and updates at www.MattGoss.LA.  

 

*Middle photo by Ken Payne

*Bottom photo - Matt Goss in Las Vegas with Kimberly Katz

 

 

sexy-baby

David Cerda and Scott Lamberty, the creators of “Sexy Baby”,  have once again taken a  touchy subject, child beauty pageants, which are already riddled with parody and camp, and unleashed a veritable whirlwind of funny on Chicago audiences.

 

I fall in comedy love with pretty much every show David Cerda's Hell in a Handbag Productions puts out and “Sexy Baby” doesn't disappoint. I asked David after the show if he realizes what an incredible feminist he is, because the way he views the glamour of women and the unique predicaments in their life is always so dead on funny and supportive at the same time. “Sexy Baby” should be adapted for school age children because it hits on every single thing that little girls and boys are subjected to by their stage-momsters on the way to what they hope is pageant and Hollywood fame - without losing heart or one beat of funny.

 

Cerda's casting is always spot on as well and he never fails to attract some of the funniest and most talented singer/dancers in Chicago. The entire cast of “Sexy Baby” blew me away but stand-outs this time were Alex Grelle as “Beyansay Riddle” and Edlyn Griffin as “Epiphany Jones” who both absolutely had me screaming with laughter every time they came on stage. Grelle and Griffin's  faces reflected the exact wide eyed, sugary sweet and plastic stare and over extended posture of the five-year-old  girls you see on the TV show “Toddlers and Tiaras”. Billie Bryant as the wheelchair bound, white trash stage-momster “Cindy Jones” was also very, very funny, and Heather Currie has a wonderful singing voice.

 

Run, don't walk to see “Sexy Baby” at Mary's Attic in Andersonville, and don't forget your sash and tiara!!

 

“Sexy Baby” has 7:30pm performances Thursdays-Saturdays and has just been extended to July 23rd. Tickets are a super reasonable $15-$22 and VIP packages are also available. Mary’s Attic is located in the heart of Andersonville at 5400 W Clark Street. For more information on “Sexy Baby”, visit http://www.handbagproductions.org/

 

I thoroughly enjoyed Spider Saloff's performance at Victory Gardens Theater. Spider has a wonderful, smooth, rich tone to her voice and impeccable phrasing.  Although there were serious technical difficulties

with her microphone that continued throughout her performance, she unflinchingly “drove right through it”

and maintained her focus on the eight characters she has so lovingly handcrafted.

 

 Spider has a great sense of humor and her Marlene Dietrich inspired character and dance number,

“Falling for Everyone” was absolutely spot on and completely adorable.

 

I highly recommend seeing “Roar Of the Butterfly” for appreciators of fine Jazz vocals who are looking for a delightful evening of light yet poignant and meaningful entertainment.

 

Spider Saloff on the creation of her one woman show;

 

"This performance is in the tradition of Lily Tomlin and Tracey Ullman, so I portray eight different characters in what's best described as a musical comedy," Saloff said.

 

"When my husband died, the play took a complete turnaround, and I eventually decided to write myself out of it and turn it into the story of Butterfly," says Saloff, whose show launches its Chicago premiere engagement Thursday night at Victory Gardens' Richard Christiansen Theater.

 

Saloff plays multiple characters who gather for Butterfly's memorial service, all soliloquizing and singing about how the late drag queen changed them.

 

"It's about an individual who touched so many lives in so many different ways,"says Natalija Nogulich, who's directing the show. "But it's not like he got up and sang a song to a bunch of schoolchildren and they were wowed. He had an alternative lifestyle. He seemed to touch everyone: a hairdresser, the waitress, the man who drove his limo.”

 

"Not only do they remember him, but he did something significant in their eyes. He sparked someone to follow a dream for dancing. He sparked someone (else) not to give up on his daughter's addiction. But I also made the decision that I was going to talk about loss, and not have it just be a crazy comedy. I mean, it is a silly comedy, it has wild characters, it's based on weird people … but it does talk about loss and death."

 

"The whole story has a kind of leavening feeling. Even though it's a memorial, like many memorials, it's a celebration."

 

Spider Saloff’s ‘The Roar of the Butterfly” is playing through May 20th. For ticket information, visit www.victorygardens.org.

 

 

Wouldn't you know it? The opening of South Pacific at the Cadillac Palace here in Chicago fell on the day after Valentines' Day and I was really looking forward to enjoying the truly romantic, Pulitzer prize winning' play which features several of my favorite Rodgers' and Hammerstein songs of all time, and I get stuck in front of the one intoxicated audience member who insisted on singing alongwith all the performers' best high notes.

 

 Audience etiquette notwithstanding, this is a really lovely production based on the Lincoln Center production of an absolutely brilliant classic Rodger's and Hammerstein's show that still packs a punch emotionally.

 

Ensign Nellie Forbush, the young nurse who falls in love with French owner is well played by Jennie Sophia. Jennie has a good sense of humor in the role. Also, Sophia’s look and manner convey well the period quality of a 1958, spunky “cock eyed optimist” of a gal from Little Rock.

 

Marcelo Guzzo is very good as the lonely and in love Emile De Becque and has excellent chemistry with Jennie Sophia. Good chemistry in these lovers' roles is crucial to understanding the soaring passion their two characters create on stage when just weeks after meeting each other, De Becque proposes marriage to Nellie Forbush.

 

Guzzo has a wonderful, rich operatic voice and is very likable in the role. One note, his thick accent for the role was consistent and obviously well prepared and thought out, but the thickness of it seemed to detract here and there from the great work he was doing overall. 

 

Cathy Foy- Mahi, was excellent in the role of Bloody Mary, her voice was clear and rich during my favorite song from this show, “Bali Hai” and both desperate and wry during “Happy Talk” as she tries to talk the Lt Joseph Cable into staying with her beautiful native daughter, Liat.

 

The scene stealing songs of the evening go to Marcelo Guzzo for his heart wrenching rendition of “This was Nearly Mine”, Shane Donovan as Lt. Joseph Cable singing a poignant and joyous, “Younger Than Springtime” to Liat in the jungle, and the sensitive reprise of “Some Enchanted Evening”, another of my all time favorite songs by Jennie Sophia and Marcelo Guzzo.

 

The supporting cast member of nurses and soldiers and officers including Robert John Biedermann as Captain George Brakett were all excellent singers and dancers, and character actors- really getting the audience laughing and involved during the adorable numbers for “There is Nothing Like a Dame” and “I'm In Love with a Wonderful Guy”.

 

I highly recommend seeing this production with your entire family for a romantic and meaningful show filled with many of the best Rodger's and Hammerstein's songs ever written for the Broadway stage.

 

“South Pacific is playing through February 22nd. For more information please visit www.BroadwayinChicago.com.

Page 10 of 19

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