Encores! is the gold standard! A class! A GUARANTEED good time!
The company, who picks often forgotten musicals and brushes them up for contemporary audiences, always puts on such quality productions! And their latest, Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella, is no exception!
The shows themselves may be flawed, but you can always count on the Encores! revival to be fun, fresh and featuring a to-notch cast!
Their The Most Happy Fella is true on all counts! We all saw Laura Benanti on NBC's The Sound Of Music, and here she gets to showcase her beautiful soprano and highlight an almost operatic quality to her voice. She delivers!
Cheyenne Jackson has a welcome return to musicals in this production.
Shuler Hensley is a revelation in the lead role!
And the supremely talented Jay Armstrong Johnson, whom we recently saw in Lincoln Center's Sweeney Todd and before that in Hands On A Hard Body, in this proves he can not just sing and act and look real pretty, but he can dance too!
There are some GREAT dance numbers in this production, choreographed AND directed by The Book Of Mormon helmer Casey Nicholaw.
The show is super enjoyable and very old-timey, but…..
If this has hopes for a Broadway transfer, the book needs to be completely revamped.
Frank Loesser had great success with Guys & Dolls and How To Succeed In Business, but The Most Happy Fella he not just wrote the music and lyrics for but also the book too!
A very funny script doctor can come in and make this production super fun for big mainstream audiences!
Great GREAT job with the current mounting as is, though!