THE KID FROM BROOKLYN: The Danny Kaye Story
Sometimes the old showbiz stories are the best, and in Mark Childers and Peter J. Loewys peppy and assured musical biography of entertainer Danny Kaye, we find crackling showmanship interlaced with just a hint of irony. Performer Brian Childers offers a dazzling turn as the legendary Broadway star which is eerily convincing, even to the slight smirk. Childers channels a perfect mix of the sentimental, feel-good charisma that enchanted his audiences, and the inner emotional vacancy that led to a troubled and sometimes self-destructive personal life. Act 1 charts Kayes early rise to fame in a straightforward way, including his marriage to his bossy but increasingly scorned business partner, Sylvia Fine (Karin Leone, in a wonderfully brassy performance). In Act 2, as Kayes marriage frays, and as he gives in to the sultry advances of his Jezebel leading lady, Eve Arden (Christina Purcell), we see the layers of darkness behind Kayes pastel exterior. Although the plays daunting two-and-a-half-hour length is a little top-heavy for material that is ultimately slight, director Loewys crisp staging is nicely complemented by Charlie Harrison and David Cohens tight musical direction. Childers beautiful tenor dazzles with spot-on renditions of such Kaye favorites as Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and his famous gibberish patter-song, Melody in 4F. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Jan. 18. Continues through Feb. 24, 2008
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