THE LAMB’S THEATRE RE-OPENS IN TIMES SQUARE
With A New Musical Adapted From A Prized Novel
Carolyn Rossi Copeland
Marian Lerman Jacobs
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
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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