The opening number "Twenty Million People" introduces us to the thrill of the live-broadcast show, and to the tremendously engaging Adam Woolsey as Benjy Stone, whose effortlessly beautiful voice and sincere presence draws the audience into the show - we share his loves, losses, and stresses, as he tries to control the uncontrollable Alan Swann (Mike Stewart) who does an excellent job portraying this larger than life character, drunk and sober. This is a physically demanding show with well choreographed swordplay. (Stage Combat Consultant, Zev Steinberg, "the first ever certified SAFD Fight Rabbi")
There are many fun characters swirling around these two stars in this fast paced musical. The show had a short run on Broadway and none of the songs is familiar, but the music and voices are generally good, backed up by a five piece orchestra, upstage, led by James Geer, his white head of hair rising like the moon above the NYC skyline nicely painted by Julia Purosky. Kudos to director Dan Pappas for managing such a huge show, with a 26 member cast, an even bigger crew and lots of scene changes, smoothly handled by on-and-off stage "floor manager" Tom Ferris and crew - and LOTS of costumes (Kris Maier & Co.)
It is an upbeat and nostalgic show, peppering us with various "types" (Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar, Eroll Flynn, and more.) It's a good old fashioned musical comedy, all about the entertainment — but it also has heart, offering insight into fathers lost and gained.
My Favorite Year continues through June 9. www.riverwalktheatre.com
Don't forget, AUDITIONS for Riverwalk's "Young Artisan Workshop" production of Charlotte's Web are being held for actors and crew aged 10 to 18 at 6:30 pm Sunday and Monday June 2 & 3. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want a copy of the script.