BWW Review: WOULDN'T IT BE LOVERLY Opens at Musical Theater Heritage in Kansas City

BWW Review: WOULDN'T IT BE LOVERLY Opens at Musical Theater Heritage in Kansas City

WOULDN'T IT BE LOVERLY, an original revue of the songs of Lerner and Loewe opened Saturday August 14 at the Musical Theater Heritage at Crown Center. What would not be loverly would be to miss this fantastic production, which runs through August 30. Sarah Crawford directs the production, which George Harter wrote, and hosts this tribute to the musicals of the dynamic song-writing duo.

Harter producer and host of the nationally syndicated "A Night on the Town" radio series brings the songs from BRIGADOON, PAINT YOUR WAGON, MY FAIR LADY, GIGI, CAMELOT, AND LITTLE PRINCE to the concert style performance. The audience rarely sees Harter on stage as more than a narrator, but in WOULDN'T IT BE LOVERLY, much to the delight of the audience he dons the cap of actor and singer as he joins the cast in dialogue and musical numbers from the stage plays and films.

Another member of the cast stepping out of character is Jeremy Watson, the shows conductor and piano player. He not only tickles the ivories, but he tickles the audience as he sings "Get Me to the Church on Time," from MY FAIR LADY. Accompanied by members of the cast his highly animated performance of the song is one of the highlights of the evening.

The cast and strong scripting make for a truly memorable evening. Some of the song selections from Act 1 include, "Brigadoon" and "Heather On The Hill" from BRIGADOON, "They Call The Wind Maria" from PAINT YOUR WAGON, and "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" and "Get Me To The Church On Time" from MY FAIR LADY. Act 2 brings favorites like "The Night They Invented Champaign" and "I Remember It Well" from Gigi, "I Wonder What The King Is Doing Tonight," and "Camelot" from CAMELOT, and "Little Prince" from LITTLE PRINCE.

Patrick Beasley, Sara Sommerer, and Ashley Yvonne Wheat are magnificent taking up several roles and vocals. Each gave powerful performances displaying their acting ability along with fantastic vocal talents. Beasley in his Musical Theater Heritage debut was particularly brilliant with his use of an accent for excerpts from BRIGADOON. This is my third production watching Sommerer and though I did not think it was possible after her Musical Monday and Tuesday performance to sound better, she does.

Musical Theater Heritage assembled a supporting cast, which is nothing less than fabulous. Elizabeth Birger a classically trained opera singer, Donna Dandino, Justin McCoy who gave a superb rendition of "They Call The Wind Maria," Linnaia McKenzie (what can I say, I would go about anywhere to listen to her), and equally talented Andrew Schmidt. Besides Watson the band included Jeff Harshbarger on bass and Ron Ernst on drums.

WOULDN'T IT BE LOVERLY gives samples of six of the best musicals to reach the stage and film. The show is like a sampler plate with some of the best gourmet performances in Kansas City. WOULDN'T IT BE LOVERLY runs through August 30. Purchase tickets by calling the box office at 816-221-6987 or visit the Musical Theater Heritage website. Photo courtesy of Musical Theater Heritage.



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