is as light-hearted as a feather from the first robin in spring. The Book,
focusing on love for college football, love for science and all kinds of love,
written in 1927 by Lawrence Schwab, Frank Mandel and B.G. DeSylva, has been
newly-adapted by Jeremy Desmon. The hard-working, high-spirited cast is fine,
but the stars of this show are Ray Henderson, B.G. (Buddy) DeSylva and Lew
Brown's songs: they are so terrific, when you hear them, you realize just how
much we are missing today.
There's a rousing opening number “Good News” then there is a little lag, but the seventh
song, “The Best Things in Life are Free” gets our attention, followed by the delicious “You’re the Cream
in My Coffee,” “Lucky in Love” and “Varsity
Drag.” The second act is a feast with
three more classics, “Button Up Your Overcoat,” “Keep Your Sunny Side Up” and “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries.” Can
you imagine-- all in one show!
The plot is quite simple.
Tom Marlowe, a pleasant Ross Lekites, is the winning quarterback. Pat (pretty blond Lindsay O'Neill) is
planning to marry him and plan his life. Connie, bright-eyed Chelsea Morgan
Stock, tutors him in science. He can't play the game unless he passes the
test! They fall in love, although it
takes the whole show to discover this. Barry Shafrin as Bobby the cute skinny
shy guy, Bobby, and Tessa Faye as zany Babe, who pursues him, nearly steal the show;
if they ever do a show about Carol Burnett, Faye should play the part. A big
guy, Myles J. McHale makes a good debut as Beef, who yearns for Babe. Give the
kudos to the middle-aged feature performers here: Beth Glover as science
Professor Kenyon, who has recently returned to the college and Mark Zimmerman,
as Coach, who wooed her and lost her years ago, rule the stage. Max Perlman is a funny Pooch, Asst. Coach.
Dancing on this stage set designed by Court Watson and lit
by Charlie Morrison, is no easy matter for this big cast costumed by Tracy
Christensen, and directed by Vince Pesce.
But they manage.
opened Goodspeed's 10th anniversary season in June of 1972. The show
toured profitably for two years before closing on Broadway in January of
1975. This year marks this historic
theater's 50th. We congratulate Michael P. Price for his vision and
persistence in bringing the American musical to life in this beautiful setting
on the water in East Haddam.
Plays through June 22.