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Lyric kicks off its 50th anniversary season with “Some Enchanted Evening”

Lyric Theatre launches its 50th anniversary season with the Rodgers and Hammerstein revue “Some Enchanted Evening”

Published: February 3, 2013
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This nostalgic trip back through time is peppered with frequent attempts at humor, a few of which are cleverly executed. A character named Will can’t accomplish what “I Whistle a Happy Tune” proposes, while Billy and Will compete for Anna’s love in “A Fellow Needs a Girl,” with both guys ending up with their heads in her lap.

At other times, the humor tends to be more sophomoric than inspired. The two guys come out dressed in drag to sing the “Stepsisters Lament” from “Cinderella,” but neither is confident in this ludicrous situation. (Yes, I know many productions cast men to play these insipid roles).

Fortunately, the five singers — Jamie Buxton, Dallas Lish, Heather Geery, Ethan Spell and Melissa Griffith — all possess attractive voices that generally put across Rodgers and Hammerstein’s memorable tunes with confidence, if not always sufficient personality.

Among the highlights are Lish’s “Lonely Room,” Buxton’s “In My Own Little Corner,” Geery’s “Love, Look Away,” Spell’s “Younger Than Springtime” and Griffith’s “It Might As Well Be Spring.” Pianists Brian Hamilton and Mary Brozina provide accomplished accompaniments throughout.

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Lyric staff has invited performers from its distinguished past to share some anecdotes and a musical number from a show in which they appeared. At this performance, Jane Hall and Charlotte Franklin humorously baited each other in “Bosom Buddies.”

If “Some Enchanted Evening” tends to leave audiences breathless with its frequent, often abrupt segues and musical delights that are too often just hinted at, it leaves no doubt in people’s minds about how much Rodgers and Hammerstein enriched the musical theater landscape.

— Rick Rogers

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