Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's Always Been A Long Ride To Coney Island

Saturday Night I went to see the Encores! production of On The Town. I'd never seen the show or the movie, but it's one of those classics where you know a bunch of the songs going in. I didn't really connect with the production, even though i thought a lot of the elements were first rate. I waited a day to see if I felt differently about it, once it settled in.

Turns out, i don't! the problem for me was the staging. It felt like they weren't sure how to balance the importance of the music and the importance of the dancing. They ultimately put the orchestra smack dab center stage and had the dancer on a platform behind the orchestra. This had the optical effect of really distancing the dancers, and totally cut off the view of everyone in the upper balcony from seeing the dancers altogether.

The show itself is light and fun and anyone who loves NYC will like the musical love letter written to the 5 Boroughs. It was fun to hear jokes about the subway considering it's still such a punchline in current events. When the characters make a long trip out to Coney Island late at night, it's easy to empathize with their amazement at how many stops there are before you get there.

I'm glad I got to see the show. Great score. Funny Book. Great dancing. Memorable preformances. So it's puzzling it left me cold. It just didn't grab me. Sometimes that's how it goes.

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