Jeff Smith 12:01 p.m., March 29
I might have caught the Coronado Playhouse's show on a bad night. I'd heard some good things about it but saw few. Bob Fosse directed the 1966 original and, with inimitable Gwen Verdon in the lead, the production boomed with energy and Fosse's trademark precision. Intrepid in the face of devastation, dance-hostess Charity Hope Valentine is more unsinkable than Molly Brown (to prove it, she almost drowns twice). The musical comes at a transitional point: the Sixties're beginning to cook with "The Rhythm of Life," yet Charity keeps falling for repressed gents from the Fifties. No problem. She is her middle name and will remain "hopefully ever after." Instead of Fosse's pyrotechnics, the performers at Coronado barely reached the house seats. No one projected until Act two, and the band was almost hushed, toning way down such Cy Coleman belters as "Big Spender" and "If My Friends Could See Me Now." As Charity, Andria Elam had a winning rapport with the audience, but sang quietly, as if to herself. Some exceptions: dressed like, and as elastic as, Sly Stone, Mitchell Hills filled the theater with "The Rhythm of Life"; as Helene and Nickie, Charity's jaded co-workers, Katie Belcher and Jeri Harms laced their songs with much-needed attitude.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, February 17, 2008
- Sundays, 2pm
- Thursdays, 8pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 8pm