Postcard from... New York

 

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The Independent Online

The webs have been swept away, the comic-book villains are long gone. So what better way to bid farewell to the doomed musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark at the re-christened Lyric Theatre than with a pure American classic?

An exuberant, dazzling revival of On The Town opened on Thursday, filling Broadway’s biggest theatre with big, crowd-pleasing dance numbers, lavish and clever visuals and superb performances from a massive cast. It’s simply a helluva show.

The 1944 romance-chasing romp by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green – made into a 1949 film with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra – has been celebrated by director John Rando and choreographer Joshua Bergasse, who have filled this lighter-than-air confection with helium.

In this On The Town, mannequins and dinosaurs dance, the performers spill into the aisles and the dancers seem to leap into the air like spawning salmon.

The revival seems to have tapped into the youthful exuberance of its creation – Bernstein, Comden and Green were still in their twenties in 1944. A mix of ballet, opera, jazz and musical-theatre, as well as dollops of silliness and wistfulness, it was the original mash-up. AP

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