Monday, May 14, 2007

Stairway To Paradise

photo: Joan Marcus

The final Encores! this season, a song-heavy revue newly culled from revue shows, never gathers any momentum: it's hit and miss from start to finish. Some of what hits is thrilling - Kendrick Jones' two tap numbers, one done solo and the other done in syncopation with a chorus of army boys, are dazzling and exciting. Too much of the rest is bland and mild - only one of the evening's two non-musical comedy bits scores and even it, a fluffy goof involving a dimwitted starlet making a movie with a gorilla, lacks a good, capping punchline. Kristin Chenoweth was an obvious choice for this show - she's one of the few current Broadway performers with a personality strong enough for revue material - but she's the only one-of-a-kind up there. The show is packed with talent, but that's not the same thing as personality.

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