Tag Archives: Ben Bagby
It would be facile and unfair to say the one and only reason to see the Broward Stage Door production of the musical My One and Only is the exuberant joyful tap dancing. The leading lady has a lovely voice. And the music is by the Gershwins. But otherwise, this production is what theatrical academics and professional dramaturgs technically call “a mess.”
Soul and spirit are characteristics we would expect from a production of the multi-Tony-winning musical The Wiz. And, to be fair, Stage Door Theatre’s mounting is, at times, spirited, hip, sassy and soulful. Several scenes feature vivacious acting and expressive singing. But too often, this production is tedious and even moribund.
Time Step, the creative and original dance-centric revue at Broward Stage Door Theatre is a time travel tribute to tap dancing in all of its many guises.
Aside from hearing a cast whose parents might have been in swaddling clothes when these songs were on the radio, it’s impossible to ignore that Broward Stage Door’s Imagine — A Beatles Celebration highlights the emotional and musical worth that proves these songs are as timeless as those of Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.
Right off the bat, Broward Stage Door’s Tickling the Ivories shows the artistry of the piano wizards and of the inventiveness of a show that turns the typical musical revue theme on its ear.
It won’t be hard for patrons to locate Broward Stage Door’s newest revue, Vegas: A Night on the Strip. All they have to do is look for the flames from the three-alarm fire as the production burns down the house.
The skill, power and imagination that Kevin Black, Ben Bagby and their colleagues have invested make Swing! Swing! Swing! as good or better than any other revue that Broward Stage Door has produced. back in time.
Greying Boomers may instinctively resist that the music of their lives is being repackaged into stage revues with little or no story the way Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer’s songbooks have been for the past two decades. But when it’s done with as much skill and verve as Broward Stage Door’s The Soul of Motor City, it’s hard not to get swept up.
The “S.S. Barry Manilow” songbook I Am Music! has tied up at the new Plaza Theatre in Manalapan. Your reaction to this entry depends precisely on your enjoyment of the cruise ship level of manufactured entertainment. A lot of people in the Plaza opening night left downright enraptured. More demanding audiences are going to be, well, more demanding.