I’ve started the year by seeing two musical plays—one about to launch on Broadway in March, while the other launched in London 325 years ago. Henry Purcell’s Fairy Queen was a mega-hit back in the day, though it didn’t make any money (sounds familiar), and who knows how Craig Lucas and Daniel Messé’s Amélie will be received.
The Center Theater production was excellent and the cast superb. Other than the principals and a little girl, the ten performers of the ensemble played multiple roles with verve and style. It was nice to note that only two of them were conventional Apollo/Aphrodite physical paragons. Also outstanding were the sets, and visuals (the goldfish hat!).
But the story—based on the 2001 movie with Audrey Tautou—is a romp that runs out of oomph long before the curtain falls. The music was agreeable without being memorable. Even so, there were hilarious moments. Don’t ask me why there suddenly was an Elton John impersonation, but it was terrific.