Can I Get A Witness? - A Review: THE NUTTY PROFESSOR by Jaz Dorsey — Jaz Dorsey , Jerry Lewis , Marvin Hamlisch , Rupert Holmes , The Nutty Professor — AAPEX

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Can I Get A Witness? - A Review: THE NUTTY PROFESSOR by Jaz Dorsey

Can I Get A Witness? - A Review: THE NUTTY PROFESSOR by Jaz Dorsey, The Nashville Dramaturgy Project

THE NUTTY PROFESSOR starts off with a bang - literally - and quite a big bang at that, involving some serious pyrotechnics coming up out of the orchestra pit. Given the anticipation that has been building around these parts as we all waited for opening night, nothing could have been more appropriate.

From there, the evening was one of the most moving experiences of my theatrical career, just like being in the room when a baby is born, watching a new life come into the world, so that every word of dialogue and every note of music was a new moment of wonder. And this new life comes into the world with a history that makes it legendary from the git go.

For one thing, we here in Music City get to witness a very fine young actor create a role in a show which has been created as a vehicle especially for him - and Michael Andrew and his talents absolutely merit the adventure. As an actor we couldn't ask more of him - his squeaky, slappy footed Julius Kelp and his suavely singing, sociopathic Romeo, Buddy Love, are, simply put, brilliant - and then catapulted to a whole 'nother level because you can so feel the love he is putting into what he's doing. His Buddy Love reminded me more than anything of Dean Martin.

As for Marissa McGowan, she is everything Jerry Lewis promised us she would be ( hey - I thought it was hype!) especially when she sings.

The secondary love interest - between Dean Warfield (Mark Jacoby) and Miss Lemon (Klea Blackhurst) - gives us two showstoppers in Act Two - Warfield's hilarious TAKE THE STAGE and Miss Lemon's duet (with Buddy) to solo turn at the end of the show. (I'm assuming that y'all are all going to see the show, so there's no need for me to inventory the song titles!)

The show itself is silly, sweet and sentimental - and frankly it's been a while since we've seen silly, sweet and sentimental like this and you know what - we NEED silly, sweet and sentimental.

And you can tell that the audience loves the characters because the characters all get their feelings hurt over and over again and each time it happens, the audience goes "aaaawww." I totally teared up more than once.

While at first glance one might see THE NUTTY PROFESSOR as a nostalgic tweet from an era gone by, there's a theme here that hits home today: Science changes things, sometimes really fast, and it is important for us humans to hold on to who we really are. It's almost as if Buddy Love is Professor Kelp's Facebook persona, which makes the whole thing very contemporary if you buy my take on it.

But nostalgia is definitely the ambiance du jour here. JoAnn Hunter's "American Bandstand" choreography really lets us old folks show the grand kids what fun was like back in the day. The dances are innocent and sexy at the same time, and Ann Hould-Ward's wonderful costumes dance and sing right along with the actors, giving us a musical kaleidoscope in purple and green.

If I sit here and gush about Jerry Lewis' directing, Marvin Hamlisch's music and Rubert Holmes' book and lyrics, those good gentlemen might think I'm sucking up to them, so I wont' do that.

In fact, I've said enough. I'd much rather you go see the show and tell me what you think.

Can I get a witness?

Come to Nashville and Go to the Theatre!

To learn more and to buy tickets, please click the post's title.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more. Fabulous show - we saw it on Opening Night - and we can't wait to see it again. Doesn't get any better than this musical!