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Perez Reviews: The Most Happy Fella

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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!

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Perez Reviews: Little Me!

Thanks to the "Encores" series in NYC, lesser-known shows get to be dusted off, polished and presented with vigor for audiences that may be unfamiliar with them!

We all know the Cy Coleman classic Sweet Charity, we we weren't familiar with his show Little Me.

Encores at City Center is currently presenting a new production of the show throughout the rest of this weekend and it is sooooo worth seeing for many reasons.

The Coleman songs are ace! And the book, written by the equally iconic Neil Simon, is laugh out loud funny! Sometimes too funny. The only real problem with the show we had is how exaggerated and out of touch with reality it is.

The story is a good-old-fashioned love tale, but it's all done so farcically that it's hard to actually root for any of the characters.

But these actors are given lots to work with and they have a ball with it!

Christian Borle does his best Jerry Lewis impersonation and is just as funny as the iconic comedian. He plays FOUR different characters in the show! Each one funnier than the next!

A real stellar cast of Broadway veterans also round out the cast, including Robert Creighton, David Garrison, Harriet Harris, Judy Kaye and Tony Yazbeck, but…

It is Rachel York who steals the show!!!

We had previously seen her in the touring production of the Anything Goes revival, and we kept comparing her to Sutton Foster the whole time - whom we'd seen play the Reno part on Broadway.

But in Little Me she shines on her own! She shines so bright!

Rachel York is such a talent!

Mega super huge star!

She is magnetic in this show!

Must must see!!!!

P.S. Kudos to Joshua Bergasse for the superb choreography!

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