Dames at Sea a solid hit at 42nd Street Moon
Dames at Sea: Musical. Book & Lyrics by George Haimsohn & Robin Miller. Music by Jim Wise. Director/Choreographer Nicole Helfer. 42nd Street Moon. Gateway Theatre, 215 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA. 415/255-8207 or www.42ndstmoon.org.
November 28-December 16, 2018
Dames at Sea a solid hit at 42nd Street Moon. Rating:
Would you believe that a full blown singing/dancing musical with full blown production numbers could be staged with only six characters and twin pianos? You will believe when you see the fun filled evening of singing and tap dancing parody of 1930’s musicals. Three of the shows parodied are 42nd Street, Anything Goes and Singing in the Rain to mention the most prominent ones. It has Busby Berkeley written all over it even though they don’t have 100 or so dancing feet the 12 of the six characters are so adept that quality supersedes quantity.
You know the story: Country girl Ruby (think Ruby Keeler) gets off the bus in New York City with only her red tap dancing shoes in her traveling bag. Thorough a hilarious series coincidences she eventually steps into a starring role finding love as well as fame. Before that happens she meets her love interest Dick (think Dick Powell) a song writing sailor. She is befriended by kindly chorus girl Joan (think Joan Blondell) who gets her a tryout with task master producer Hennesey. There is a proverbial temperamental diva Mona Kent ( the only one given a last name) and a tap dancing sidekick sailor named Lucky needed to match boy-girl for the happy ending “Let’s Have a simple Wedding.”
The show was original Gold Diggers Afloat when first mounted in a Caffe (Chino) off-off-Broadway. It made it to Off Broadway in 1968 starring the unknown Bernadette Peters. In the terrific show gracing the 42nd Street Moon stage director-choreographer Nicole Helfer takes her superb cast through show stopping numbers in both acts including in order: “Broadway Baby”, “That Mister Man of Mine” torch song, “Choo-Choo Honeymoon”, “Good Times are Here to Stay”, “Dames at Sea”, “The Beguine”, “Raining in My Heart”, “The Echo Waltz” and “Star Tar.”
They have assembled a star cast of 42nd Street favorites Lauren Myers (Ruby), Jefferey Scott Parsons (Dick), Keith Pinto (Hennessey and The Captain), and Melissa Wolfkain (Joan). New comers who match the returnees in voice and dance step are Ashley Cowl (Mona Kent) and Chaz Feuerstine (Lucky).
Once again 42nd Street Moon may have blown the budget on the hilarious costumes and the brilliant two-level set that converts from a rundown theater to the deck of a battleship. Added to the fixed scenery they bring out (amongst others) an upright piano for the torch song, palm trees and marimbas for “The Beguine” and twirling blue umbrellas for “Raining in My Heart.” In “Star Tar” the woman toss the men around like rag dolls.
Music director Dave Dobrusky is accompanied on stage with Ken Brill on the other grand piano.
It is a short evening of less than two hours including the intermission that will leave you wanting more while you figure out the shows that are being spoofed. A must see production.
CAST: Chaz Feuerstine as “Lucky,” Ashley Cowl as “Mona,” Lauren Meyer as “Ruby,” Jeffrey Scott Parsons as “Dick,” Keith Pinto as “The Captain/Hennesy” and Melissa WolfKlain as “Joan.”
CREATIVE TEAM: Director/Choreographer Nicole Helfer; Dave Dobrusky, Music Director; Brian Watson, Scenic Designer; Ashley Garlick, Costume Designer; Michael Palumbo, Lighting Designer; Lauren Howry, Assistant Stage Manager; Alicia Lerner, Stage Manager; Lauren Howry, Assistant Stage Manager.
Kedar K. Adour, MD
Courtesy of www.theatreworldim2.com