Elizabeth Salaam 12:06 p.m., May 21
Words By: Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook
The North Coast Rep has extended the run of this world premiere tribute to lyricist Ira Gershwin. And along with music by the Gershwins, Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper's downplayed performance as Ira is a calling card (when he sings, he feels the meaning of a song, a lyricist calling quiet attention to is words). Two other performers (Andrew Ableson and Meghan Andrews), however, try to sell every song with generic voices and gestures. Each is, at best, marginally competent, and neither looks comfortable with the material. Some of the finestmusic and lyrics in the Great American Songbook deserves better treatment.