BWW Review: ON THE TOWN at Overture Center
Capital City Theatre's ON THE TOWN packs a playful punch with gorgeous vocals, high-energy dancing, and hilarious scenes that kept the audience laughing Friday night.
The Golden Age musical opens with three eager sailors on 24-hour leave singing the iconic "New York, New York." Gabey, Chip and Ozzie take on a quest to find the object of Gabey's desire, Ivy Smith, whose poster he spies on a subway. The three split up and each meets challenges and headstrong woman along the way.
Chip, naïve and fun loving, played by Joshua K. A. Johnson, hops into a cab, driven by a flirty, man-hungry Hildy, played uproariously by Lizzie Cutrupi, who delivers Ethel Merman-like vocals in "Come Up to My Place."
Ozzie (Nicolas Dromard), the rascal playboy, meets prissy, buttoned-up anthropologist, Claire DeLoone (Abby Nichols) in a natural history museum where hilarity ensues in "Carried Away" as she struggles to keep her lusty advances under control.
Eddie Gutierrez, as the charming, star-struck Gabey, stands out with his seamless performance delivering rich vocals and easy charm in "Lonely Town" and "Lucky to Be Me." And when Gabey connects with Ivy, a beautiful innocent played by Paige Sabo, their dances are effortless grace that I longed for more of.
In fact, all the dances felt innovative and fresh thanks to the skilled direction of Director/Choreographer, Josh Walden. Walden embeds energy, heart and humor into every scene. On the Town never slows.
Also of note are the quirky, farcical side characters played by Sabra Michelle, Gail Becker and Christopher deProphetis. DeProphetis has the exhausting and entertaining challenge of embodying at least eight different personas. But my favorite was Madame Dilly, played by Becker, who appears like a Gypsy version of Carol Burnett while delivering sterling vocals along with comedic hijinks.
Under the musical direction of Andrew Abrams, also Capital City Theatre's Artistic Director, Leonard Bernstein's brilliant orchestrations come alive. Combined with a talented cast comprised of professional equity actors from New York and Chicago, as well as local actors, the score dazzles.
Capital City Theatre, in collaboration with Madison Ballet, delivers this challenging Golden Age show in grand fashion.
ON THE TOWN plays at the Overture Center through Sunday, June 2, 2019. Tickets are available at capitalcitytheatre.org or at Overture Box Office (608)258-4141.
Photos courtesy of Kat Stiennon.