re: MERRILY-- A naysayer's review
Posted by: AlanScott 05:54 am EST 02/08/24
In reply to: MERRILY-- A naysayer's review - Zelgo 11:31 am EST 02/07/24

I've written this before and I'll write it again: I think this is the best production I've seen of the revision, but it doesn't make me like the revision more than previously, and the reason(s) it's the best have almost entirely to do with the three principals and not much to do with the rest of the cast or the direction. In fact, I think some of the direction is awful. And I think at least one major supporting player is awful, although I think Friedman must be considered responsible for that, as as well as for some poor choices from the ensemble in their various roles. And putting aside bitching about the set (which bothered me less than it did some others), some of the costumes are all wrong period-wise, and those beanbag chairs at Gussie and Joe's in 1962 are wrong. Yes, there were beanbag chairs at Frank's in Act One for a while during previews in 1981, but that was 1968 and, more important, that was at Frank's during the Pop Art craze and Frank was trying to be "with it." It's a minor thing, but it's indicative of a lack of understanding of the various periods in several ways. If it was just that, it would be one thing, but some of the costumes are also wrong.

I don't think I've ever seen the "It's a Hit" sequence done worse, nor "Bobby and Jackie and Jack." But the three leads are very good (except in "Bobby and Jackie and Jack," but I don't blame them).

For me, it's never been as good as in 1981, as I've said here too many times, and it probably never will be again.

And while three current leads have very good chemistry, they don't have more chemistry than did Walton, Morrison and Price.

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