Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Reviews Are In

We asked our opening night audience, if anyone wanted to write a review.  We did not offer free tickets; we did not solicit specific “Moonies”, it was completely open to anyone who wanted to try their hand at some reviews.  We had some eager takers!  I promised I wouldn't edit them at all... so here they are.  Direct from the audience members.  I did add the titles, however.


I expected to enjoy Lady, Be Good! I did not expect to be virtually blown away by the talented and consistently spot-on cast! Every cell in my body wanted to move with the piano “overture,” (few understand what it takes to solo-piano accompany a musical such as this—Gershwin’s music is tricky and often demanding. The pianist was a delight and I’ll take “live” over “canned” any day).

Ian Simpson’s voice (Dick Trevor) is a joy to listen to and he is a pleasure to watch. What a winning smile! Rena Wilson’s facial expressions (Susie Trevor) enhance her exquisite singing and dancing. Her energy floats out into the audience and grabs you. Andrew Boyer (Watty Watkins) produced some of the best comedic timing I’ve seen in a long while. Comedy is hard to do and he does it well! His scenes with [Ben] Knoll (Bertie Bassett) are priceless—Laurel-and Hardy-quality.

Reviewers often think that in order to be erudite and credible they need to concentrate on flaws, on what they didn’t like. On opening night there are usually a few missteps. If so, I missed them. Yes, the second act started out rather “slow,” but that may have been simply because the first act was so “fast.” I’m sure it will tighten up as the show progresses. What I didn’t like? It was over too soon! My brain’s opinion is colored by my love of Gershwin, piano music, and dance. Nevertheless, do not walk, run, to catch Lady, Be Good! This was my first visit to the Eureka Theatre. I’ll definitely be back!

- ARLENE R. TAYLOR, PhD is one of the world's leading speakers on brain function, is sometimes referred to as the brain guru. Taylor has spoken to thousands of people at conferences internationally. She is a sought-after charismatic speaker who presents practical brain function information in entertaining, educational, and empowering ways.


The theater crowd was in an especially happy mood last night at the opening of Lady, Be Good!, now showing at San Francisco's Eureka Theatre where the 42nd Street Moon Theatre Company re-creates Broadway hit musicals of the 1920s and 1930s. The audience was full of smiling, toe-tapping customers.

In the lobby you could hear the buzz, the murmurs and humming of the crowd: “This is the best one yet;”  "AMAZING ACTING;” “Just really fabulous music, dancing, and singing;” “Didn't you just want to jump up and dance with them?;” “That song 'Fascinating Rhythm' always was my favorite” “We sang that song('You Don't Know the Half of it Dearie blues') as part of our college chorus and we were a hit in front of the Princeton Nassoons."

Ian Simpson and Rena Wilson, in the leading roles first played by Fred Astaire and his sister Adele Astaire back in 1924, just sparkled and connected with the 2010 audience, eager for some reason to laugh and an expectation of happy endings!

Dave Dobrusky, at the piano, is adored by all and never disappoints, bringing new fans to musicals with his confident mastery and personable versions of every classic melody!

Noel Anthony brought sincere romance and masculine strength with gentility to the stage.

Nicholas Yenson's solo number, “Little Jazz Bird” was so sophisticated and beautiful, the crowd was at first speechless, then boisterous in their approval.

You can't find a more delightful night at the theater.

Step back in time. Rush to experience theater at its best.

42nd Street Moon's 1924 musical production of Lady, Be Good! has it all: Ira and George Gershwin's sophistication, rhythm and sheer sassy joy, some of the best acting, dancing, singing, piano playing, choreography and costumes you'll ever have a happy chance to enjoy!

Transport yourself and your friends to the campy, joyous “living large” time of the 1920s.

Lady, Be Good is not just good; it is truly great!



In my brain’s opinion do not walk—run to catch this performance. The songs are Gershwin gems. The catchy score found me tapping my toes and every cell in by body humming a Gershwin tune long after the players have taken their well deserved bow.

The cast is fabulous. Just fabulous. Ian Simpson and Rena Wilson sing, act, and dance the roles originally played by the Astaire’s and are just delightful to watch. Their dances are extraordinary, from the tapping to the Charleston to the dancing on the couch. The other standout performer is Andrew Boyer as Watty Watkins, who does an amazing job providing comic relief as the meddling lawyer. The scenes with Boyer and Knoll are priceless. This production is a parade of pulsing talent. This was my first visit to the Eureka Theatre. I’ll definitely be back!

- SHARLET M. BRIGGS, PhD, is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of brain function, self development and memory. She is the author of over 8 books, has created many videos, and has appeared on radio shows.
Last night, I and my companion, watched, with enjoyment, 42nd Street Moon’s version of the George and Ira Gershwins’s classic, Lady Be Good!

The whole ensemble was in sync with each other and the performance brought a delightful bit of nostalgia to my ears.

From the opening to the end, Dave Dobrusky’s piano playing carried ‘the tune of the show.’ As it does every musical performance, that I have seen, by 42nd Street Moon.

At first I felt that Rene Wilson, playing the role of Susie Trevor, was carrying the show with her singing and dancing.

Then I thought that it was Andrew Boyer, playing lawyer Watty Watkis, was carrying the show. When he sang “Oh Lady be Good”.

But at the end, I thought Nicholas Yenson was the show “show stopper” when he sang and danced the “The Little Jazz Bird” tune.

But, when they were all taking their bows, I realized that the singing and dancing performances, of the
entire cast, were the “show stopper” and they all carried the show!

If I were a Chronicle critic, I would give it a “clapper”

- ROLAND SHEPPARD is an amateur critic from New Jersey, his went to his first broadway show in 1961 to see Destry Rides Again, "It is good to be back on 42nd Street!"

I'm back.  Don't miss your chance to see, what the most important critics - the audience - are raving about!  42nd Street Moon's production of the Gershwins' Lady, Be Good! now through April 18 at the Eureka Theater.

For tickets call (415) 255-8207 or click here.

1 comment:

Elliot Simon said...

I concur completely -- this production (I saw the Sunday matinee on opening weekend) is a knockout. I've seen every show since the company began and this one is OUTSTANDING. So many good things to say about the cast, the direction, the choreography, the costuming, the set, and the accompaniment, it's hard to know where to begin. But it's certain that every cast member gives his or her part or parts a clear identity (owns it). I wanna see it again. Thanks to all.