On the Town again

We visited family in New York last weekend and attended a preview of On the Town on Friday night. The show opens officially on October 16.

I have enjoyed a few other musicals as much as I did this one, but none more. I thought the production was spectacular in every respect, from the book (Comden & Green) to the songs (Comden & Green and Leonard Bernstein) to the dancing (the original choreography was by Jerome Robbins) to the sets, the cast and the orchestra. Eric Grode’s terrific New York Times feature on the then-young team that created the original production provides the necessary background.

Will Gabey find love with Miss Turnstiles before the sailors’ shore leave expires? You will get no plot spoilers from me. I will only add that I felt lucky to see the show and if you can, I hope you will.

When the audience enters Broadway’s beautiful Lyric Theatre (formerly Foxwoods), a see-through curtain decorated with a huge American flag covers the stage, and when the orchestra starts playing, it prefaces the show with the Star-Spangled Banner in lieu of the usual overture.

Played straight, no irony, the national anthem left us wondering what is happening here? I thought it might be too good to be true. We rose to our feet in unison with the rest of the audience and placed our hands over our hearts. Let the show begin! And let it be a winner.

Then the show opens with its famous number — in the promotional video below, filmed on location with the stars of the revival. I thought some readers might enjoy it.


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