PATRICK WILSON    JOHN ELLISON CONLEE    JASON DANIELEY    ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS
ROMAIN FRUGÉ    MARCUS NEVILLE    JANE CONNELL    ANNIE GOLDEN

 


The movie was a surprise hit when it opened a few years ago and the story was perfect for a musical (maybe one day the same thing will happen with BILLY ELLIOT). So why not give it a try?

Terrence McNally wrote a strong book, taking good care of all characters and creating a new one, the piano player. We can feel that the audience cares for that group of desperate men and everyone is pleased with their final success.

The score is by rock composer David Yazbek, who debuts here as a Broadway composer and lyricist. The result is a rock score that doesn't sound like Broadway. That it works well on stage there's no doubt, but there aren't catchy tunes and, personally, I don't like it. I know I'm too old fashioned when it comes to music, but I can't help it. I believe that if it had a more musical score I would have like it much more.

Director's Jack O'Brien did a good work and the show runs smoothly and is always entertaining, with right doses of humor and drama. The choreography by Jerry Mitchell is imaginative, funny and it's a perfect match to O'Brien's direction. There's no fancy work here, Mitchell never forgets that his characters don't know how to dance and so his steps are simple but effective. The big dance number, "Michael Jordan's Ball", is a pure example of that. He also came up with a funny strip number for the guys, "Let It Go".

Everyone in the cast has a chance to shine. The guys seem comfortable with and without their clothes and the girls seem to enjoy every minute. Among them, Patrick Wilson shows star power, André De Shields proofs he's still in good shape and Jane Connell is simply delightful.

Many people will go see this show just to see the naked guys, but they will get a good show and they'll have a good time. I enjoyed and liked it more than I thought I would, but the score really didn't touch me. Anyway, I recommend it and it deserves to have a long run.

 

 

music and lyrics by
DAVID YAZBEK

 

book by
TERRENCE McNALLY


choreography by

JERRY MITCHELL

directed by
JACK O'BRIEN

 

Rated by Jorge: +++