Wednesday, April 13, 2016

theatre review - THE ALL NIGHT STRUT - Phoenix Theatre - April 9, 2016

Trisha Ditsworth, Toby Yatso, Christopher George Patterson, and Brittney Mack
Photo Courtesy Phoenix Theatre / Matt Chesin
Click here for more information on this production that runs through May 1st.

"...The All Night Strut ...features songs of the 1930s and 1940s. While there is virtually no plot or dialogue and very little to string the songs together, Phoenix Theatre's cast is exceptional, the six-piece band is superb, and the direction and choreography are energetic.... a "trip down memory lane" for those who grew up in that era. Younger theatregoers might not quite understand how important these songs were to those who went through the Great Depression or World War II. With sentimental numbers like "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," the reflections of war and the impact of hard times are deeply felt through the lyrics of these songs....However, while the show itself is fun, there really isn't much substance to it and the transitions between the songs are sometimes a bit jarring. Fortunately, the arrangements, both for the band and the stellar vocal arrangements for the four member cast, are excellent and the cast deliver energetic performances which help give some dimension to the material. The foursome include Trisha Ditsworth, Brittney Mack, Christopher George Patterson, and Toby Yatso, all of whom have exceptional, expressive deliveries of their lyrics and superb voices that wring the emotion, heartbreak, and joy from their songs....Director and choreographer Michael Jenkinson adds plenty of razzle dazzle and always changing dance steps to the show that keeps it lively. Alan Ruch's music direction and conducting of the bandare exceptional. ...The All Night Strut is more a concert of the music of the Big Band era than a musical. It also lacks a lot when compared to other musicals, since there is no story or character development beyond what exists in the individual song lyrics, and younger theatre goers, who may not be familiar with the material, might be underwhelmed by the songs. Fortunately Phoenix Theatre has a great cast, awesome band and upbeat choreography and direction that overcome some of these shortfalls as they bring back as the show states "the glorious music of the 1930s and 1940s.""  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

No comments:

Post a Comment