Thursday, December 15, 2011

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" at St. James Theatre, December 15, 2012 


Why change the focus of the story from Daisy, now David (David Turner) to the psychologist Mark (Harry Connick, Jr.) 

Why hire Mr. Connick to perform on Broadway and not let him do what he does best? Did none of the producers and/or creative team see Pajama Game?  "Hernando's Hideaway" turned that show on its ear, combined with the infused chemistry playing opposite Kelli O'Hara.  We get neither here.

Why not have him accompany Melinda's (Jessie Mueller) numbers, particularly "Ev'ry Night at Seven," among several others of which could have been beefed up to accommodate him.

Why give him book scenes that really require an actor?  He's a singer, not an actor.  Even here, he's not even trying.  He might as well be texting the performance in from his dressing room.  He sings solidly, but that, too, comes across as uninspired.

Why did he stick with this show?  It's painfully obvious that he'd rather be somewhere else.  Is he working his own slowdown in hopes of closing it before his contract expires?  That would seem remarkably inconsistent from his last outing.

Why take what was a questionable property and re-write the story to a period when the concept of homosexuality was still highly controversial?  If the idea is to ignore the doctor's struggle over the fact that the woman he loves is in the body of a man, shouldn't it be in a time when that isn't such a struggle?  There's no reason why Melinda had to be David's most immediate past life. Why not hire a book writer with a stronger gay sensibility like Douglas Carter Beane or Richard Greenberg? 

Why does David literally and completely disappear in the flashback scenes, except for "You're All the World to Me?"  That number was the only one that really worked, thanks to the rare, effective bit of choreography by Joann M. Hunter.

Why is the rest of the musical staging such a series of park and barks?

Why wasn't David more adorable?  Drew Gehling's Warren came across much better.  Why was David's BFF Muriel (Sarah Stiles) so obnoxiously written and performed?

Why take such a wonderful song like "What Did I Have That I Don't Have" and reduce it to a single punchline sung by David?  Why waste the talent of Kerry O'Malley?   Why not give it to Sharone (Ms. O'Malley) as she gets more involved in Mark's apparent self-destructive actions, rather than the disrespectful nod of acknowledgement she gets from the secretary late in Act II.

Why waste the talents of Catherine Zuber on such a fashion-deficient era as the '70s?  If that's the look, Mr. Producer, save your cash.


1 comment:

Sarah B. Roberts said...

Ugh - thanks for this. I wasn't that interested to begin with, but now I definitely won't even bother. I just don't get the appeal of Connick - stick to concerts and stay off Broadway. The hairpiece just makes it worse.