Monday, August 14, 2017

"Jerry's Girls" - York Theatre Company Continues To Delight With Its Musicals In Mufti Series

York Theatre Company has a wonderful tradition of mounting concert versions of beloved musicals. They call the series "Musicals In Mufti - Musical Theatre Gems In Staged Concert Performance." This season's series has just come to a glorious conclusion with "Jerry's Girls," featuring more than 30 numbers taken from musicals written by the acclaimed composer and lyricist Jerry Herman.

This project began by reuniting Director Pamela Hunt and Music Director Eric Svejcar. They then cast three of the most versatile musical theater actresses working in New York - Stephanie Umoh, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, and Christine Pedi. The result was an uplifting show that highlights Herman songs from shows ranging from "Hello Dolly," "Mame," "Mack and Mabel," "Milk and Honey," "Dear World," "The Grand Tour," and "La Cage Aux Folles."

The flow of the show, broken up by a 15 minute Intermission, featured a nice blend of solos, duets, and ensemble pieces. Each of the women brought her unique signature style and versatility to this concert. Using only music stands on wheels as props (with an occasional feather boa or fan thrown in for fun), they created instant characters, acting each song rather than being content to merely sing them. They were backed up by the incomparable Mr. Svejcar at the piano, whose virtuosity at the keyboard is astounding. Each of the women had several moments to shine as solo artists.

  • Stephanie Umoh - I have had the opportunity to follow Ms. Umoh's stellar career beginning with her student days at Boston Conservatory. She created a strong and memorable Sarah in the final Broadway cast of "Ragtime," Her purity of tone lays a solid technical foundation for the work she does in interpreting songs, adding hypnotic eye engagement, nuanced gesticulation, and fluid body language that enables her to tell a convincing story with each song she sings. In this concert version of "Jerry's Girls," she was most engaging in "It Only Takes A Moment," "I Won't Send Roses," "and the rollicking "I Am What I Am," which caused the audience to go wild. She combined with Ms. D'Abruzzo in a wonderfully arch version of "Bosom Buddies" from "Mame."
  • Stephanie D'Abruzzo - This star of "Avenue Q" can be both comic and poignant, as demonstrated by her interpretations of "Wherever He Ain't," "So Long Dearie," "Before The Parade Passes By," and the heartbreaking "Time Heals Everything."
  • Christine Pedi - This Broadway veteran of "Chicago," and current Guest Diva in "Spamilton," knows how to sell a song with the best of them. She often uses self-deprecating humor to draw in her audience. This was the case in "Just Leave Everything To Me," "Two A Day," "Gooch's Song," and "Nelson." She was most moving in her haunting rendition of "If He Walked Into My Life" from "Mame."
Stephanie Umoh, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, and Christine Pedi
Eric Svejar
"Jerry's Girls"
"Musicals In Mufti"
The York Theatre Company

If you are not already a subscriber or fan of The York Theatre Company's "Musicals In Mufti" series, I suggest that you get on their mailing list so you will be one of the first to know about next season's offerings.

York Theatre Company Website



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