THE LAMB’S THEATRE RE-OPENS IN TIMES SQUARE

With A New Musical Adapted From A Prized Novel

 

Carolyn Rossi Copeland

Marian Lerman Jacobs

Leftfield Productions

present

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER

 

Based on the novel by MARK TWAIN

Music and Lyrics by NEIL BERG with Additional Lyrics by BERNIE GARZIA

Book by BERNIE GARZIA and RAY RODERICK

 

Lamb’s Theatre

130 W. 44 St., NYC

Tickets: (212) 239-6200 or www.telecharge.com

The Prince and the Pauper website

 

Reviewed during the June 16, 2002 - January 10, 2003 run

 

Directed by RAY RODERICK

Musical Supervision/Orchestrations and Arrangements JOHN GLAUDINI

Fight Director RICK SORDELET

Set Design DANA KENN

Costume Design SAM FLEMING

Lighting Design ERIC T. HAUGEN

Sound Design ONE DREAM SOUND

Press Representative PETER CROMARTY & CO.

 

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER opens with an instrumental prologue.  When the flawed second song, “The Prince is Coming,” was performed by the ensemble cast, I suddenly had the sinking feeling that I was about to be subjected to two acts full of twenty-four nonmelodious numbers.  To my great relief, surprise, and ultimately, delight, this early fear was never more than a deceptive shadow over the very opening moments of this delightful new musical adaptation of Twain’s beloved book.  This work quickly revealed itself to be a competent little musical that, although not featuring the finest or most memorable music and lyrics around, is at a level that is decidedly above the off-Broadway competition.

 

Featuring skillful musical direction, and accessible storytelling that is both lyrically and dramatically consistent, this updated THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER is modern without ever becoming mundane.  Telling the familiar tale of two similar looking boys, one a prince, the other a pauper, who trade places, learn about life, and, theoretically, in so doing ensure a better future for England, this famed fable was ripe for musical interpretation.

 

This is a cast full of veteran performers who know how to belt out a tune and harmonize effectively.  There are some nice duets (“Thrill of Adventure” and “If I Were You”) sung by Dennis Michael Hall (The Prince) and Gerard Canonico (The Pauper), as well as some standout solos by Rob Evan (Miles).  Also notable, the duet “Is This Love” (Allison Fisher and Rita Harvey) and a series of comic ensemble work such as “Simple Boy.”  The acting is appropriate to the thematic issues, making good use of the lead actors as well as folks like Michael McCormick, who plays both the ailing King Henry and the brutal John Canty.

 

As staged at the Lamb’s Theatre, this full-length work is performed throughout the space, with many entrances and exits made amidst the audience.  With a basic, but functional set, appropriate costumes and live music adding to the mix, this is a respectable production.

 

Fun, familiar, and a hit with slightly older children and adults alike, this THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER is recommended as absolutely appropriate family fare.

 

- Kessa De Santis -

 

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