As a New Yorker, I rarely take advantage of the "iconic" New York experiences. I've never been to the statue of liberty or stood at the 'Top of the Rock,' and I rarely get to frequent Broadway Shows. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I was invited to view the revival of On The Town (c/o), which was originally written and produced by Leonard Bernstein- one of America's greatest composers- in 1944.
At first glance, this hit musical comedy is a tale as old as time: three sailors with only 24 hour leave are in New York and looking to get laid. Before you cue the eye-rolls, understand that the female leads arguably stole the show with their comedic timing and undeniable talent: Alysha Umphress has got the voice, Megan Fairchild has the moves, and Elizabeth Stanley had me laughing in my chair. Don't get me wrong- the entire cast of both men and women were incredibly talented, but these ladies rocked the house.
The show starts with three sailors docking in Manhattan and proclaiming their excitement to be in such a beautiful city full of beautiful women. But time is of the essence, and they only have one day to find the loves of their
First up, we have Goofy Chip (Jay Armstrong Johnson) and the bodacious cabdriver Hildy (Alysha Umphress). He is a dorky tourist glued to his outdated guidebook, and she is a lusty, forward gal with one set of pipes. The only tourist destination Hildy is interested in showing Chip is her boudoir. They are arguably the funniest couple on stage.
Next up is Gabey (Tony Yazbeck) and "Miss Turnstyles," AKA Ivy Smith (Megan Fairchild). He's a little naive: actually searching for his soul-mate in such a short amount of allotted time. Ivy, on the other hand, is a beautiful, delicate ballerina just trying to make it in the big city. When he sees her picture plastered in the subway, he falls in love and begins his unabating search for her. It must be noted that Fairchild is an incredible dancer. I'm talking perfection here. She floats across the stage appearing weightless and ethereal, and I'd be lying if I said she didn't make me want to take up ballet.
Finally, Gabey's wing-man, Ozzie, (Clyde Alves) bumps into anthropologist and unhappily married woman, Clare de Loone (Elizabeth Stanley.) Instant attraction ensues, as she's clearly bored with her over-the-hill yuppie husband. This young sailor is all she needs to put a little excitement back into her life.
On The Town is perfect for a family affair, and a show that would please locals and tourists a like. For more information on, head to http://www.onthetownbroadway.com.