RedheadReview - Broadway musicalIt is not just a musical; it is a murder mystery, placed on the stage. This genre was popular during the time, the original version was staged, and it is still quite famous. Critics were positive about the performance. They especially mentioned the leading actress – Gwen Verdon. She is said to make the show successful. It was not her debut work on Broadway. She has already participated in several spectacles by that time. Besides her talent in acting, she was a great dancer, which also added to the general popularity of this histrionics. Verdon used to be an assistant choreographer, working together with Jack Cole. The actress received Tony Award for almost every role in various productions. She brought a reward for this staging as well. Verdon’s play had such convince that many people say the show should never be revived. None of the actresses would be able to repeat such a triumph.
The second leading actor – Richard Kiley – perfectly completed the picture. His voice is thought to be one of the most striking and beautiful in the history of Broadway. His appearance is gorgeous as well. He got Tony Award for his acting in this performance.
The second husband of the leading actress – Bob Fosse – had a debut work in this production as a director. The continuation of his work had brought him many others directing engagements. His experience appeared to be good, as the spectacle became popular. His direction and gifted choreography made the show stylish and creative. At the beginning of his work, he had an idea to star in the play as a real killer. But it happened that he had lots of other obligations. Leonard Stone replaced him and was nominated for another Tony Award for the performance as the Best Featured Actor. In his turn, Fosse did excellent job and brought two more Tonies – for the Best Musical and Best Choreography.
The noticeable cooperation of Verdon and Fosse was not the last for this production. In 1966, they co-worked again and brought great success to the whole crew.
The composers deserve a separate word. Lyrics by Dorothy Fields and Albert Hague managed to create catchy music and witty lines. The songs were made the way the leading actress could dance a lot and have enough time to breathe. Verdon needed plenty of energy for her performance. As she had a task to show her talent in choreography, the strongest signing parts were given to Richard Kiley. He is perfect in both solo and duo compositions. The best songs were included into the cast album, including his duets with Verdon and Stone.
Being based upon a simple, even mediocre material, the gifted members of the crew were able to elevate it somehow. Even the set and costume designs turned to be outstanding. Rouben Ter-Arutunian got another Tony for his wonderful work. Even though the musical cannot be called a masterpiece, both critics and viewers agree that it definitely worth the attention. There are many things to admire and enjoy in this spectacle, staring from tuneful music and creative dances and ending with amazing acting and nice decorations. You can give it a try and spend a wonderful evening.
Last Update:July, 12th 2016