Le jazz hot…and not
Book by Blake Edwards
Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
Music by Henry Mancini
Additional music by Frank Wildhorn
Directed by Matt Schicker
The Gallery Players (www.galleryplayers.com)
Equity showcase (closed)
Review by Judd Hollander
The Gallery Players serves up a tasty revival of the Broadway show Victor/Victoria, based on the film of the same name. While not a stellar offering, there is still plenty to enjoy.
There's a lot of fun to be had here. An almost silent scene taking place between two adjoining rooms, and featuring two maids (one in drag) slamming doors and a window ledge is played brilliantly. The various supporting characters are quite good, including Allison Guinn as King’s girlfriend Norma and Patrick Field as his stoic bodyguard Squash. However, these attributes can’t make up for some major problems.
Blaylock also suffers some problems (vocal and otherwise). Appealing at first, his shtick of coming up with one pointed remark after another (all in a sing-song monotone) soon becomes rather annoying. He also has some troubles keeping up with Patterson in their duet “Living in the Shadows,” where his off-notes are quite audible. As for Poarch, he’s serviceable as King, but never projects any real warmth and there's little chemistry between him and Patterson.
The score is bouncy and fun and the direction is adequate, but there are several fight scenes that attempt to be stylish (via a slow-motion effect) which look rather cheesy. The set works well, as do the costumes, with the era being depicted accurately.
"Victor/Victoria" is a crowd-pleasing show, with more style than substance; although the text has a basic message about tolerating people no matter what their orientation; not to mention the problems of sexism. But with a bit better casting, and strong direction, the end result would have been lot better.
Also in the cast were Andy Frye, Andrea Davey, Tripp Fountain, Craig Joseph, E.C. Kelly, Michael Reyna, Tauren Hagans, Meg Benfeld, Jamie Birkett, David Michael Green, Rieko Yamanaka, Tom Schubert, Melissa D’Amico, Chip DuFord, Lorinne Lampert, Patrick Field and Dennis Michael Green.
Copyright 2007 Judd Hollander
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