Review: “On the Town” and finding love, sex, adventure and hilarity at Barrington Stage Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Elizabeth Stanley, Clyde Alves, Deanna Doyle, Tony Yazbeck, Alysha Umphress and Jay Armstrong Johnson. photo by Kevin Sprague.

Elizabeth Stanley, Clyde Alves, Deanna Doyle, Tony Yazbeck, Alysha Umphress
and Jay Armstrong Johnson (photo: Kevin Sprague)

You know how damned good this production of On the Town is? The cast boasts a Tony winner (Michael Rupert) and a Tony nominee (Nancy Opel) in SECONDARY roles! The director, John Rando, has a Tony (for directing Urinetown) and the choreographer, Josh Bergasse, has an Emmy (for his work on the recently canceled Smash). The leads, well they are just picture perfect triple threats who will no doubt be winning their own trophies soon. In fact everyone on the stage is just fabulous, and Rando manages to find a little spotlight for them all as he peoples Adolph Green and Betty Comden’s 1944 New York City with singing shipyard workers, crotchety old ladies, office gossips, doddering paleontologists, giggling schoolgirls, subway strap-hangers, policemen, Coney Island hucksters, nightclub MCs, crabby cabbies…and sailors with 24 hours leave to see it all.

“10:30 AM – Bronx Botanical Gardens. 10:40 am – Statue of Liberty” says Jay Armstrong Johnson as the naïve and detail oriented John “Chip” Offenblock as he plans the trio’s itinerary. But his pal Gabey (Tony Yazbek) only wants to see one thing in New York City, Ivy Smith (Deanna Doyle), Miss Turnstiles for June, whose poster he has stolen from the subway. Ozzie (Clyde Alves) convinces Chip to put down the guide book and help Gabey find his woman, and the game is on. By the end of the day all three men have found love, sex, adventure and hilarity. And as their ship pulls out of New York Harbor, taking them off to the certain horrors of war, another three sailors disembark and sing Leonard Bernstein’s classic “New York, New York.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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