photo: Richard Anderson
Baltimore CenterStage's production of the Sondheim classic (which happens to be one of my all-time favorite musicals) isn't exactly elegant: the interludes from the singing chorus have been tricked up with some cheapening, overly sexual business of the switching partners around a divan variety, and most of the cast's performances haven't been directed to evoke the manners and social codes of the turn of the century. There's also the problem that Barbara Walsh, who'd probably make a wonderful Charlotte, is not ideally cast as Desiree, and that Maxwell Caulfield, playing Karl Magnus with amusing bluster, is not up to the vocal demands of his role. And yet the show still makes for an enjoyable evening thanks to fluid staging, several vibrant performances and - of course - the strength of the material. (When will we ever get to see a Broadway revival?) Particularly good are Sarah Uriarte Berry as Petra and Josh Young as Henrik.