Since its opening in 1946 with Ethel Merman (I only saw her in two movies and, although she had a strong voice and a funny presence, she wasn't much of an actress) this musical became an instant classic. Irving Berlin wrote his best score for it and every song became a standard (we hardly find a score with so many highlights), among them one that became a hymn for show people, "There's No Business Like Show Business".
This is the first big Broadway revival without Ethel Merman; instead we have the fabulous Bernadette Peters. With a perfect comic timing, great voice, strong and friendly presence, she made the role her own. It's true she isn't Ethel Merman, and thank God for that, at least she can act. At her side, Tom Wopat is a flawless and manly Frank Butler, perfectly matching her performance. The rest of the cast seemed to have a good time and their excitement is contagious.
Dennis Kelly * Andrew Palermo * Michelle Blakely * Nicole Ruth Snelson * Peter Marx * Kevin Bailey
THE REVISED REVIVAL
Many critics condemned this new production due to the fact that Peter Stone revised the original book, making it more politically correct. The fact is, if you don't know the original you won't notice the changes and the new book works well on stage. This is a new adaptation of a classic and there's nothing wrong with that.
Graciela Daniele's directed it like if it was a circus show and so the stage looked like a circus tent. She knew how to take full advantage of the comic side of the musical and the result is a highly entertaining show. The dance numbers by Daniele and Jeff Calhoun aren't fabulous but work on the best interest of the show and the opening number caused chills down my spine.
This isn't a intellectual show, just a funny one that made us dream for a couple of hours and then sent us home with a feel good feeling. I really enjoyed it and seeing Peters live on stage was a dream come true; she's a true musical star.
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields Revised by Peter Stone
Choreography by Graciela Daniele & Jeff Calhoun
Directed by Graciela Daniele
Rated by Jorge: ++++