Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For the Boys at the Marriott Theatre

Thanks for the memories seem to be the theme running though “For the Boys,” a new musical based on 1991 film which starred Bette Midler and James Caan that opened at the Marriott Theatre this past Friday night. Marriott is presenting the World Premiere of this musical and there are many things in this production there are also several things that one might wish had been explored a little bit more to eally provide a satisfying show. For the Boys follows the story of 1940s big-band inger Dixie Leonard played here with comedic ease and a big powerhouse voice by Michele Ragusa who along with America's premier entertainer Eddie Sparks played with comedic flair in a thankless role by Timothy Gulan,who became America's ouple entertaining the troops in times of war and peace.

Though out the 30 year time span we see Dixie and Eddie fight, joke, and sing a lot of songs together, the script is well put together provide character depth for the most part
and an abundance of some great liners. The role of Eddie Sparks seems to suffer however from the creators not knowing how to sculpt his journey along with Dixie, he's either a jerk or a great guy and at times both. It's hard for the audience to get behind him with an outline instead of an actual character. The other issue I had with the show was with all the time and energy devoted this could have been a great show with an original score. So much of the show seemed like it was willing to soar and then the music would start and the show felt grounded. The creators are smart to provide us with a classic score but with a story this rich and interesting it could
have been so much better with a score that was original and appropriate to the time otherwise it gives off a why bother feeling to the proceedings. The cast is excellent particularly Anne Gunn as Loretta Brooks, who opens the 2nd act with a belty showstopper “That's Loyalty” and sparkles though out the show.
The direction and choregraphy by Marc Robin are top notch and the costume design by Nancy Missimi is at the usual top level. With all the time, energy, and talent put into this production its a shame that the same couldn't be done about creating an original score that could have made this production soar when at best it plays on
the ground.

For the Boys is playing at the Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire though October 16th. Ticket prices
range from $41 to $49 plus tax and handling fees. Seniors and Students receive $5.00 off a full price theater ticket on Wednesday 1:00pm, Saturday at 4:30 p.m. And Sundays at 1:00 and 5:00pm. To purchase tickets with a major credit card, call the Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or Visit
for more information.

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