BWW Reviews: DO I HEAR A WALTZ Plays A Flat Tune

BWW Reviews: DO I HEAR A WALTZ Plays A Flat Tune

When Broadway actress Emily Skinner takes the stage and opens 42nd Street Moon's current offering, the next two hours look bright and worthwhile. Venice, Italy, as displayed on stage by set designer Hector Zavala promises magical, mystical miracles. Yet as the musical progresses, rather slowly at that, the script turns Skinner's immediately likeable character into a flawed one, condemned for what may seem to many like reasonable judgment calls.

Leona, the leading lady, apparently obsesses over money, can't accept a good gift without reservation and refuses to set aside her perfect ideals for a topsy-turvy romance free of any moral obligation. For a story that finds its beginnings in conservative 1950s America, "Do I Hear A Waltz" professes a confusing and, perhaps to some, offensive worldview of subjective morality. Difficult-to-like characters, including two men and their relationships outside of marriages, find little build-up or development and quick resolution. The darker tone of the show stays truer to life, yes, but without a thought-provoking script and multi-layered characters, the musical falls flat and boring. A shame, since its creators include three of theatre's most genius: Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim and Richard Rodgers.

In San Francisco, a talented cast in colorful costumes helps the hurting production along. The lovely-voiced Abby Sammons shares a beautiful trio with Skinner and Italian "woman" Stephanie Rhoads. The title song is nice. And Tyler McKenna attempts to bring some romance to a couple that lacks spark. Tourists Edith and Lloyd McIlhenny (played by Lucinda Hitchcock Cone and Michael Rhone) add some personality to the musical, while Taylor Bartolucci brings much-needed humor with hilarious facial expressions spread in small bits throughout. But the majority of the music runs along the line of tacky and the plot morbid.


42nd Street Moon Theatre
Through October 19 at the Eureka Theatre

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