Show tunes have become so complicated and serious: Yes, Sondheim is a genius, and rock musicals are edgy — but sometimes you just want sass, flash and old-fashioned va-va-voom — says the New York Post.
In short, you want Cy Coleman.
In that regard, an evening dedicated to the late composer seems just what the doctor ordered. But the revue that opened off-Broadway last night, “The Best Is Yet To Come: The Music of Cy Coleman,” is wildly uneven. Even with a brass-heavy band and pros like Lillias White, Sally Mayes, Howard McGillin and music director/singer Billy Stritch, there isn’t enough snap, crackle and pop.
A classically trained pianist with a taste for jazz, Coleman started by writing memorable tunes such as the show’s title track and “Witchcraft” in the late 1950s. He then turned to Broadway, penning the music for “Sweet Charity,” “Little Me” and “The Will Rogers Follies.”
Along the way, he teamed up with various lyricists, including the brilliant Carolyn Leigh and Dorothy Fields, as well as David Zippel, who devised and directed this project…
… At their best, Coleman’s songs come out swinging. They suggest not so much seduction as playful bravado. But too often this cast strolls where it should strut — young David Burnham is supposed to play sexy, but looks like he could barely maul a kitten.
The big exception is White. She created “The Oldest Profession” in the 1990 show “The Life,” reprised it on Broadway in 1997 and revitalizes it here. White owns this song — the better to sell it.
read all via NYPOST.com
Cast: David Burnham, Sally Mayes, Howard McGillin, Billy Stritch, Lillias White, Rachel York
Directed and Devised by David Zippel
Musical Direction by Billy Stritch
Runs until July 3 at 59 East 59th: Space A