Sunday, November 24, 2019

Let 'Em Eat Cake

The narration for the MasterVoices production of the Gershwins' Let 'Em Eat Cake mentions that (1) it was the very first musical sequel (to Of Thee I Sing), and (2) it set the precedent for musical sequels flopping (see, e.g., Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, Bring Back Birdie, and Annie 2: Miss Hannigan’s Revenge). It failed, however, to include point (3), which is that the sequels mostly aren't as good as the originals (exception: Falsettoland).

Bryce Pinkham, Mikaela Bennett
Photo: Erin Baiano

It's not that Let 'Me Eat Cake is bad. It just isn't . . . good. The plot is all over the place, even for a silly satire, and Ira Gershwin is in full twee mode. (Complicated rhymes that don't quite make sense get boring quickly.) But, and this is a huge but, the score by George Gershwin is gorgeous.

And any show sounds terrific when presented by the 150-person MasterVoices and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, directed and conducted by the fabulous Ted Sperling. It's always a treat to see them perform. In addition, they generally have amazing guest stars. This time, the cast included Bryce Pinkham, Mikaela Bennett (delightful), David Pittu (stealing the show), Kevin Chamberlin, Christopher Fitzgerald, Fred Applegate, Chuck Cooper (wasted!), and Lewis J. Stadlen (mumbling through his one-liners).

It's a little odd to review MasterVoices shows, since they're always gone before the reviews come out. So let me predict that their entire season will be well worth seeing and leave you with a link to their website: MasterVoices.

Wendy Caster
(row R, press ticket)

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