The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pipe Dream

Encores at City Center is (are?) reviving Rodgers & Hammerstein's little known 1955 flop PIPE DREAM based on John Steinbeck's novels CANNERY ROW and SWEET THURSDAY.
The original production was notable for starring Wagnerian opera star Helen Traubel and this revival is blessed with the presence of the glorious Leslie Uggams in the role of Fauna.
Fauna is ostensibly the madam of a brothel in Monterey but the novel became so sanitised on its way to Broadway that one could be forgiven for thinking that she's just a kind hearted landlady. Steinbeck apparently complained to Hammerstein that he'd turned his heroine Suzy, a prostitute, into something resembling a visiting nurse.

  The gorgeous Laura Osnes from the late lamented BONNIE & CLYDE and Will Chase, currently appearing in SMASH on NBC, are most winning as Suzy and Doc despite working with a ludicrous script.
Osnes has my favourite song in the score, "Everybody's Got a Home But Me"
But I was very taken with Leslie and Laura's duet "Suzy is a Good Thing".  And when Ms. Uggams sang and danced the jaunty "Sweet Thursday" with two chorus boys my eyes brimmed with tears and all was well with the world.

Tom Wopat was his usual charming whiskey-and-cigarette self and Stephen Wallem (left) brought down the house with the strangest lyric Oscar Hammerstein ever wrote:
"And tell her if she doesn't behave
You'll put a mouse on her eye"
I'm pretty sure we'll never see another major production of PIPE DREAM in our lifetime but this production is being recorded live for CD release so now this strange show will be blessed with two cast albums for R&H fans to choose from.

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