BWW Review: TOM SAWYER at Théâtre Mogador

BWW Review: TOM SAWYER at Théâtre Mogador

In the same theater where Chicago is doing sell-out business every night, the original musical adaptation of Tom Sawyer by Julien Salvia, who already wrote the music for Rapunzel and The Little Match Girl (still running at the Theatre de la Renaissance), is back for a season of matinees till the end of March. Thanks notably to the wonderful Broadway-style arrangements of legendary Larry Blank, recently nominated for Tonys for The Drowsey Chaperone, Catch Me If You Can, and White Christmas, this production is so much more than a musical for kids. The book and lyrics by Ludovic-Alexandre Vidal, who previously collaborated with Salvia on his two previous efforts, co-adapted with Nicolas Nebot - Sister Act (2012), Beauty and the Beast (2013), Dance of the Vampires (2014), Cats (2015, for Mogador), as well as Dirty Dancing (2015) and The Bodyguard (2018, for the Palais des Sports) - are definitely not aiming at a child audience.

BWW Review: TOM SAWYER at Théâtre Mogador

David Rozen has cleverly directed the production with the help of choreographer Johan Nus, who was in charge of the recent Wonderful Town at the Toulon Opera House and the current French tour of Into the Woods, and the talents of a capable cast. Jimmy Costa-Savelli is quite believable as Tom Sawyer, although his performance is almost marred by a ridiculous wig, which makes him look older than he actually is. Actually, Harry Hamaoui almost steals the show from him, with a more moving portrayal of his pal Huckleberry Finn. Megan Bonsard is a spirited Vicky Thatcher, but the show actually belongs to the wonderful Marion Preite, seen in Next Thing You Know, and more recently in Les Comedians, for which she won the trophy of Rising Star.

BWW Review: TOM SAWYER at Théâtre Mogador

The level of children musicals has changed drastically for the best in the last few years, thanks to the efforts of talented creatives like Vidal and Salvia. Recent productions of The Revenge of Captain Hook and The Jungle Book have paved the way for Tom Sawyer, now playing with a new cast at Mogador. Would be interesting to see it with actors who really have the same age as the characters, however.

BWW Review: TOM SAWYER at Théâtre Mogador

But at least this is a real musical with humable songs and production numbers that build and balance, moving the plot along in the Broadway golden age tradition.

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From This Author Patrick Honoré

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