Director Barlett Sher has successfully brought historical accuracy to the Lincoln Center revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. He is aided by choreographer Christopher Gattelli, who infuses every dance with real moves from khon, the royally-sponsored classical dance form of Thailand. More on that later.
Well, this is fun! Something Rotten! is another satirical pastiche musical that is actually a pretty good musical by its own lights. A little “second act trouble”, but, hey, even Chicago has that.
What a great season this has been for new American plays! First Hand to God and now this, which I like even better. Airline Highway is set on the titular New Orleans roadway, a desolate stretch of road, at the Hummingbird, a run-down motel. Most of the customers are long-term residents, a rogues gallery of strippers, prostitutes and entertainers barely scraping by.
Richly emotional yet rigorously unsentimental – this quality is one of the things I like most about the remarkable musical Fun Home. It’s a hallmark of lesbian American literature from Gertrude Stein and Willa Cather onward, and something with which I’m very comfortable (my earliest mentors in the theatre were lesbian writers very much in that tradition-breaking tradition). Add to this bookwriter/lyricist Lisa Kron’s astringent wit, and the surging music by Jeanine Tesori, and you have a show that deals with longing and death that, while sometimes dark, is never depressing.