Broadway Blog - COME FLY AWAY Review Roundup

Below are BroadwayWorld.com's blogs from Thursday, March 25, 2010. Catch up below on anything that you might have missed from BroadwayWorld.com's bloggers!

COME FLY AWAY Review Roundup
by Robert Diamond - March 25, 2010

 

Broadway Blog - COME FLY AWAY Review RoundupCOME FLY AWAY, the new musical from visionary director/choreographer Twyla Tharp, follows four couples as they fall in and out of love during one song and dance filled evening at a crowded nightclub. Blending the legendary vocals of Frank Sinatra with a live on stage 19-piece big band and 15 of the world's finest dancers, COME FLY AWAY weaves an unparalleled hit parade of classics, including "Fly Me To The Moon," "My Way," and "That's Life" into a soaring musical fantasy of romance and seduction.

The show's score combines classic and newly discovered vocal performances from the Sinatra archives along with signature arrangements (Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Quincy Jones) as well as brand new charts for this fresh innovative musical.

Franck Scheck, Hollywood Reporter: "Bottom Line: Terrific dancing and classic vocals by the Chairman of the Board are entertainingly if too abstractly combined in Twyla Tharp's new show."

Charles Isherwood, The New York Times: "these are minor problems in a major new work of pop dance theater, one that reveals fresh dimensions on multiple viewings. (I first reviewed the show in Atlanta last fall.) A sleek, energizing mixture of Sinatra's inimitable cool and Ms. Tharp's kinetic heat, "Come Fly Away" sweeps you up in a spell so complete that only those resistant to the seductions of dance or the swing of Sinatra will be left on the other side of the velvet rope."

Steve Suskin, Variety: "The unceasingly creative force of nature called Twyla Tharp returns to town importuning audiences to "Come Fly Away," but her third Broadway dance revue only intermittently gets off the ground. This despite an impressive dance corps, a handsome production, a fine swing band and Ol' Blue Eyes croonin' away from limboland. Sinatra's seductive voice and Tharp's sexy moves are well matched, building to some impressively climactic peaks. General audiences, though, might well run out of stamina before the dancers do."

Elysa Gardner, USA Today: "It's hard to imagine a Broadway show delivering a more dazzling combination of talent than Come Fly With Me (* * * out of four), the Frank Sinatra tribute that opened Thursday at the Marquis Theatre."

Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal: "Twyla Tharp racked up a major disaster three seasons ago with "The Times They Are A-Changin'," one of the lamest jukebox musicals ever to stagger onto Broadway. Not surprisingly, she's playing it very, very safe this time around: "Come Fly Away" is a love-in-a-nightclub fantasy set to the ever-popular music of Frank Sinatra, whose recordings have previously accompanied three of Ms. Tharp's ballets. The songs are familiar, the dancers are pretty, the set is fancy and the band is hot. All that's missing from this recipe for success are a star and a few memorable onstage events."

Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press: "There's an intense physicality to Tharp's choreography, not to mention a delight in show-biz razzle-dazzle, and both qualities are present in the dancers whose affairs of the heart are examined with astonishing theatricality."

Michael Sommers, NJ Newsroom: "Not exactly a Sinatra commemoration, "Come Fly Away" is conceiver-choreographer-director Tharp's impressionistic evocation of one hot night in a make-believe ballroom. Perhaps this mirror ball-type entertainment will appeal more to you than me. I usually like a stronger story with my Broadway show."

David Sheward, Backstage: "After hitting a home run with Billy Joel ("Movin' Out") and striking out with Bob Dylan ("The Times They Are A-Changin' "), Twyla Tharp is back on her A game, this time with Frank Sinatra as a collaborator. "Come Fly Away," her tribute to the classic romanticism of one of the 20th century's greatest pop stylists, is a jazz, a gas, a cuckoo-cuckoo, ring-a-ding fling, man! "

Linda Winer, Newsday: "They sweep down the stairs into the sleek but cozy deco club with the virtuoso big-band orchestra. Some come in couples, some alone. They've all dressed up for something slinky and maybe something special to happen as they get tossed and flipped and changed by an evening of Frank Sinatra and Twyla Tharp. And special it definitely is. "Come Fly Away," Tharp's dangerously gorgeous, wordless."

 

Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post: " Tharp doesn't illustrate the lyrics, going instead for mood inspired by the music itself. The upside is that this avoids heavy-handed (or is that heavy-footed?) mimicry. Many of the most compelling moments occur when seduction is coated in ferocity, as in "That's Life," which feels true to Sinatra's less savory side."

Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News: "Frank Sinatra's singing oozes effortless cool. Twyla Tharp's dancing reeks of sweaty showmanship. Combined, it's a pair of two left feet, and that's a shaky foundation for the choreographer-director's new Broadway brainchild, 'Come Fly Away.'"

John Simon, Bloomberg News: "Sinatra sings with posthumous ease, fine supporting dancers lend lively ensemble assistance and 100 minutes pleasingly "Fly Away." Only that beckoning "Come" is a bit of a problem: Things never come quite as spontaneously as we expect in what may be Twyla's twilight. "


 

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