Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Denver Center for the Performing Arts: 9/12 -10/26


                                                  Beth Malone and Burke Moses

Beth Malone is a luminous Molly Brown of the triple threat variety. This artist gives Molly a fiery tomboy presence that illuminates the character with a powerfully joyful stage presence.

     Director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall has done everything possible to allow this re-production to come to the stage with professional aplomb. Nevertheless… PURISTS BEWARE!
     This is not the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" you remember from the previous stage productions or the movie you have seen.
     Meredith Willson is most assuredly spinning in his grave upon learning of the transmogrification of his book and score. The show, for which he received inspiration from his Muses while sipping a cocktail at The Teller House in Central City has been completely re-written (it came out first as re-wrotten!) and to a large degree re-scored using bits and pieces of music and lyrics left on the cutting room floor.
     “Bananas on Bananas” is the worst injection of the lot! Supposedly cut from the score of Willson’s “The Music Man,” one must state quite emphatically that that show would never have gotten the Tony for Best Musical over “West Side Story” had it been included in the score. One can only pray that this number will be struck from the score of this production. GAWD ALMIGHTY!

                               Beth Malone and Burke Moses
 Leadville Johnny Brown is now J.J. Brown, a diluted and down-sized vision of a character who also loses one of the most charming songs in the show: “Chick-a-pen.”
Also gone are Mrs. McGloan and the Bishop. In their place some pristine prudes of the Sacred 36 arrive at the Brown mansion and are all too quickly tamed by some “high” tea and a song very much in the vein of “A Spoonful of Sugar.”
     What’s really shocking about this Molly Brown is that the magnificent “Belly up to the Bar Boys” number has no rustic saloon bar in which to kick up its muddy miners’ boots. Only a few post-modern ice sculptures to prance around! Really?
     "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
One must say that the sound from the orchestra in the pit is full and rich and much better than that for last season’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

     So if you're a "Molly Brown" virgin you may find the show passable.

     Those who know the previous stage production may simply find this Molly Brown “Unthinkable.”

For tickets go to denvercenter.orr or call 800-641-1222 Marlowe's Musings

No comments:

Post a Comment