BWW Reviews: ON THE TOWN at Broadway's Lyric Theater Is a Delight from Start to Finish

BWW Reviews: ON THE TOWN at Broadway's Lyric Theater Is a Delight from Start to Finish

The most recent revival of "On the Town", the 1944 smash hit based on Jerome Robbins' "Fancy Free" ballet about three sailors on 24-hour shore leave in NYC, is first-rate on all counts. Right from the moment that the booming bass-baritone voice of Phillip Boykin joins the audience singing "The Star Spangled Banner" as he strolls down an aisle, the show captivates with professionalism and energy that are sustained throughout the evening.

The original production launched the legendary Broadway careers of composer Leonard Bernstein, the writing team of Betty Comden and Adolf Green, and Robbins. Yet Joshua Bergasse, the Emmy-award winning choreographer for the 2014 iteration, more than rose to the occasion of following in such iconic footsteps. From the jazzy numbers punctuated with pigeon wing steps for the sailors to the richly romantic balletic sequences, all of the dance scenes are among the best I've ever seen on the Broadway boards.

A great deal of the credit for that result goes to Bergasse, but the dancers deserve kudos as well. Chief among them is Megan Fairchild, the New York City Ballet principal dancer who is making her Broadway debut in the role of Ivy Smith. Except for a sweet scene in which she does some pointe work as a ballet student at Carnegie Hall, she proves herself to be more than capable of styles beyond her usual comfort zone of classical and neo-classical ballet. She also turns out to be a good little actress even though she's used to performing mime instead of delivering lines. She pretty much holds her own vocally as well. Her character, the winner of the "Miss Turnstiles" contest that is modeled on the actual "Miss Subways" contest dating from the 1940s, is taking singing lessons so that does give her a bit of a break Even so, she did just fine.


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Sondra Forsyth Sondra Forsyth is Editor-in-Chief of Broadway World Dance. A National Magazine Award winner and a member of Dance Critics Association, she founded Ballet Ambassadors in New York City and was the Artistic Director for 16 years with support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Currently, she teaches ballet and pointe at Ovations Dance Academy on Long Island and is the Ballet Mistress of Ovations Dance Repertory Company. Sondra has served as a guest teacher for the American Ballet Theatre open classes and on the faculty of The School at Steps on Broadway, the Harkness Dance Center of the 92nd Street Y, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Studio de Ballet Opera in Beirut, Lebanon. She was Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director with Jan Hanniford Goetz of the Huntington School of Ballet and the Huntington Ballet Theatre on Long Island. Sondra is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of and formerly held the posts of Executive Editor at Ladies? Home Journal, Features Editor at Cosmopolitan, and Articles Editor at Bride?s. Sondra?s byline has appeared in Dance Magazine and Dance Teacher as well as many major publications. She is the author or co-author of twelve books and holds an M.A. from Harvard.