A young composer of today, in a gorgeous Brooklyn apartment, inherits a piano that once belonged to his idol George Gershwin. Well, it seems the piano brings good luck and most especially when Gershwin himself turns up.
It’s a fantastical conceit and really doesn’t add up to much, but the performers are all multi-talented and the choreography, from tap to ballet, is outstanding. The songs, intended as a salute to the great George and Ira, all seem to belong back in the thirties. Thus the show is one of nostalgia for an era of lighthearted melodies, foolish romances, and shared digs with Broadway hopefuls on every floor.
Heading the cast is Andrew Bourgeois as a youthful wunderkind; Emma-Jayne Appleyard as a zoftik hoofer, and Daniel Lench as the philosophical phantom. Jean Altadel is an ingenuous love-interest; Gregory Guy Gorden a grumpy manager; Kyle Bares is a dashing dance coach, and Suzy London an understanding apartment manager.
Snappily directed by Jules Aaron, with dazzling choreography by Michele Bernath. The book is by Doug Haverty, based on an idea by musical director Wayland Pickard, who composed the music while sharing lyrics with Haverty and Laura Manning. Beautiful set by Chris Winfield and Aaron, with clever lighting by J. Kent Inasy and eclectic costumes by Angela M. Eads. Produced by Richard Alan Woody and Leah Shaw for the Group Rep.
At the Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd, NoHo, through June 22. Tickets (818) 763-5990 or www.thegrouprep.com
Also reviewed in the June issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY