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Freddie Falls in Love

An all-danced tale of the world of romance and its inevitable highs and lows by Al Blackstone.

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Matt Doyle and Melanie Moore in Al Blackstone’s “Freddie Falls in Love” at the Joyce Theater (Photo credit: Justin Chao)

Joel Benjamin

Joel Benjamin, Critic

Al Blackstone’s Freddie Falls in Love is the all-danced tale of the title character, played with a marvelous combination of joy and dejection by the handsome Matt Doyle, and his adventures in the unpredictable world of romance and its inevitable letdown.

Choreographed and directed with a light, bubbly touch by Blackstone, the show flows easily as Freddie, first seen commiserating with his best girl pal played by the charming, wide-eyed Betty Weinberger,  that is, until Freddie spies the Girl in Pink (Melanie Moore, making it clear why Freddie finds her so seductively attractive).

Freddie begins a relationship with the Girl in Pink which ends abruptly: she writes “I’m Sorry” on the headboard of their bed, leaving poor Freddie distraught, disheveled, living on pizza and desperately seeking escape.  So, off to Paris he goes with his friend played by the sweet-natured, delightfully goofy Evan Kasprzak.

Tiare Keeno, Chantelle Good, Matt Doyle and Melanie Moore in Al Blackstone’s “Freddie Falls in Love” at the Joyce Theater (Photo credit: Justin Chao)

Sure as shootin’, on the transatlantic flight they sit next to the beautiful Chantelle Good with whom Freddie paints the town red in a whirlwind tour of the City of Light, including fine dining and a cabaret emceed with smug sensuality by Kolton Krouse in Joel Grey mode.

How Freddie resolves his amorous adventures is cleverly handled by Blackstone using an imaginative combination of ballet, modern dance, mime and popular dance forms.  The score is made up of over twenty songs including:  “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?.” “Dream Lover,” “We Are In Love,” “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” “La Valse á Milles Temps,” “Makin’ Whoopee,” “I’ll Be Seeing You” and a song written and performed live by Mike Brun.

The sixteen marvelous dancers acquit themselves with energy and personality.  A standout is the tall Ashley Day whose clean balletic lines add class to the proceedings, but they all are wonderful to watch as they change characters and sets with professional aplomb.

Matt Doyle and Evan Kasprzak in Al Blackstone’s “Freddie Falls in Love” at the Joyce Theater (Photo credit: Justin Chao)

The set designed by Jason Sherwood (originally created by David Masenheiner) consists of a number of gray-trimmed boxes which are constantly and wittily rearranged into beds, couches, benches, airplane seats, nightclub tables, etc.   Brian Tovar’s excellent lighting provides relief from the monochromatic set while Ebru Duru’s props helps illuminate each scene.

Christine Meyers’ colorful street wear costumes are a delight.

Delightful as Freddie Falls in Love, I wish it were a tad more emotionally involving and less bent on entertaining, although it certainly is effervescently entertaining.  Perhaps it’s nitpicking to ask for more.

Freddie Falls in Love (July 23 – August 4, 2019)

Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, in Manhattan

For tickets, call 212-242-0800 or visit http://www.Joyce.org

Running time:  70 minutes without an intermission

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Joel Benjamin
About Joel Benjamin (351 Articles)
JOEL BENJAMIN was a child performer on Broadway and danced with leading modern dance and ballet companies. Joel has been attending theater, ballet and opera performances ever since childhood, becoming quite opinionated over the years. He was the founder and artistic director of the American Chamber Ballet and subsequently was massage therapist to the stars before becoming a reviewer and memoirist. He is a member of the Outer Critics Circle.

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