The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre revved up its 2006-2007 season “in the round” last week with a musical tribute to the work of John Kander and Fred Ebb. The World Goes ‘Round features well-known musical numbers from Chicago, Cabaret and New York, New York.
Kander, who composed the music, and Ebb, who wrote the lyrics, may not be as recognizable a duo as Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, but their work nonetheless encompasses some of the most recognized tunes in Broadway and film, many of which have been sung by the legendary Liza Minelli at one point or another.
The 14 cast members, along with the orchestra and support staff, pulled off the production masterfully, creating an intimate and enjoyable atmosphere.
The show opened with the title song, “World Goes ‘Round,” originally from the film New York, New York. Amanda Averill’s shining rendition, which she thrice reprised, held the show’s a varied selection of songs together well.
Songs from Chicago dominated the show, and rightfully so-they were among the most recognizable. “All that Jazz” conveyed the raw attitude of both the original Broadway version and the movie well, but did not go all the way in hitting the high notes.
Jose Luaces comically captured the meek invisibility of Amos perfectly in “Mr. Cellophane.” The song was performed somewhat differently from other versions, but worked since it was out of the context of the Chicago plotline.
Similarly, Alix Paige and Sara Weiss staged “Class” impeccably, a number chock full of irony and humor.
Noticeably absent in the “Cellblock Tango” were the “six merry murderesses of the Cook County jail” and their accounts of how they ended up in prison. When appropriate to the song, the cast came on stage clad in jazz vaudeville garb-contributing to a very authentic feel in addition to genuine sounds.
The tribute also featured two songs from the classic Cabaret, with Paige performing the “Cabaret” finale very loyal to Liza Minelli’s version. Lesser-known numbers were also done well. From The Act, “Sara Lee” Luaces pleased the audience with his passionate portrayal of a lovesick man infatuated with baked goods. Also from The Act, the audience was “bitten” by “Arthur in the Afternoon,” a song about a gigolo, and its sexually-charged choreography. The show’s choreography in general, though not the most intricate, was executed almost flawlessly-further demonstrating that the performers are truly talented young individuals.
Upbeat, catchy ensemble numbers, such as “Coffee in a Cardboard Cup,” mixed with reflective solo songs, such as “Marry Me,” provided for an overall great theater experience. To close the show, the cast recited “New York, New York” in several different languages, reflecting the globally-themed show in a fitting finish.
For students who wish to partake in the pleasant The World Goes ‘Round, entrance is free on a first come, first serve basis with a ‘Cane Card for Totally Tuesday on Oct. 10 at 8 p.m.
THE RING SCHEDULE
The World Goes ‘Round
October 4 – 14, 2006
William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
November 7 – 12, 2006
A New Brain
November 28 – December 3, 2006
Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs & Broadway Bound
February 21 – March 4, 2007
On the Town
April 18 – 28, 2007
To purchase tickets, call the box office at 305-284-3355
Greg Linch may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.