Saturday, September 19, 2015

Review of DAMN YANKEES at Georgetown Palace Theater

Fio was excited about seeing Damn Yankees.This would be her first time, and, with images of Gwen Verdon dancing in her brain, she was looking forward to it.

The overture was full of energy, which boded well for the play.  But maybe it was a little bit too long, which Fio should have realized did not bode well.  First off, as usual, most of the actors were projecting stage voices despite the fact that they were wearing face mics, which meant Fiorella was applying fingers to her ears far too often. Second, Fio would have liked to have heard a balance between the band and the singers rather than a competition.  Third, the sets seemed uninspired, but that might have been because the sets in the last couple of shows Fio reviewed were spot-on.  
Then there were the awkward moments, like when "fans" in the background were continually and unsuccessfully trying to put up a sign, like the awkward scene change behind Mr. Applegate when he was singing "The Good Old Days."  And what the heck was that flash of blinding blue light that hit the audience in the tender "We've got Each Other" scene?

This is a man's show, and stand-outs were Robert Josef Cross as Mr. Applegate, Michael Rafferty as Joe Boyd, and Justin Dam as Joe Hardy--and when both Joes sang together, Fio's eyes misted over. Samantha Watson, always one of Fio's favorites, was great as Joe's wife, but Dara Hasenkampf, who played Lola, seemed uncomfortable in her role as a seductress.  And her costumes didn't help--that Amish outfit in red and black didn't look at all sexy, and her wigs were atrocities.

All in all, the show seemed uneven, the audience was remarkably unresponsive, and Fio was . . . disappointed.

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