Friday, April 16, 2010

On The Town - 5th Avenue Theatre

On The Town

5th Avenue Theatre

April 13 – May 2, 2010

Tickets and Information

Joe Aaron Reid, Matt Owen, Greg McCormick Allen. Photo by Curt Doughty 2010.

With only 24 hours to spend for a vacation, what better place to be than in the city that never sleeps? Then again, having only 24 measly hours to spend in the humongous city of New York may not sound like a full vacation at all, but wait until you see the 5th Avenue Theater’s production of On the Town. On the Town is a musical comedy that tells its audience that when in New York City, you can never prepare yourself for the characters you will meet and the quirky adventures that you can encounter in the city that never calms down.

On the Town, directed by Bill Berry (West Side Story, The Wizard of Oz), tells the story of three young American sailors who are on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City during WWII. The three sailors Gabey (Joe Aaron Reid), Ozzie (Greg McCormick Allen) and Chip (Matt Owen) know they only have one night to kill in the Big Apple so they are excited to make it a night worth living for. It isn’t too long after the sailors get off the ship and start off for their daily adventures in New York when Gabey finds himself enamored with a poster of the beautiful “Miss Turnstile” (Courtney Iventosch) during a ride of the subway. Gabey vows that he will find Miss Turnstile before his 24 hours in New York City is over and his friends Ozzie and Chip agree to help. While all three sailors split up to search the city for Miss Turnstile, both Ozzie and Chip end up enduring a few love encounters on their own. Ozzie gets “Carried Away” with Claire (Billie Wildrick) the anthropologist in the American Museum of National History, and Chip meets the rambunctious Hildy (Sarah Rudinoff) who is a taxi driver that demands Ozzie to” Come Up to My Place” before he helps Gabey find his lovely Miss Turnstile.

With political war posters plastered along the stage and costumes fashionably created for the 1940’s, the set creates an atmosphere that brings the audience back to New York City in the mid 1900s.The music, written by the infamous Leonard Bernstein, is what really gives the flair of the mid 1900’s New York City with its classical, jazzy beats. Of course, it is important to mention that even though the set was cleverly created and the music was undeniably catchy, the talented actors are what really bring this entire production to life. The performances were phenomenal, where the actors did a variety of dancing including ballet, tap, jazz and more. Also, the singing from each cast member made the audience roar with applause after each catchy number was complete. Lastly, the casting choice was pure chemistry as well; especially the three sailors who played off each other perfectly. Chemistry is one of the most important factors in creating a successful theatrical production, and the cast of On the Town could not have been selected more perfectly for each other to make this one of the best musicals that the 5th Avenue Theater has given to the theater scene of Seattle.

On the Town is a show that everyone can enjoy. Though the musical doesn’t follow the same story line of the famous 1940’s movie On the Town (Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly) it is just as catchy and entertaining. It is a musical that will give you a heart warming, but comical look on the mysteries of love and how it can hit you out of no where and in within any amount of time. All in all, the phrase “only in New York” now fully makes sense. It’s the city where anything can happen; no matter the time frame or age.

Review by Darsha Squartsoff

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