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Davenport Theatre

Operation Crucible

May 18, 2018

While it’s meant to be helpful, a glossary of local jargon ("Operation Crucible" is set in Sheffield, England) in the program is usually a surefire sign that you’re going to have difficulty following the play. Adding to the confusion is that the often dimly lit play leaves us in the dark, in both senses of the phrase. Given the circumstances of the plot, it’s understandable that both director Bryony Shanahan and lighting designer Seth Rook Williams wanted to have many of the rapid-fire scenes unfold in utter pitch black. But it doesn’t abet in our comprehending what’s happening to Bob, Tommy, Phil, and Arthur (the last character is misrepresented as Andrew, in the program) most of the time. [more]

Money Talks: The Musical

July 24, 2017

The genial Ralph Byers’ performance as Franklin is heroic as he is onstage for virtually the entire length of the show. Mr. Byers marvelously sings, dances and cracks wise, while channeling the familiar Franklin persona with his wry vocal delivery. Byers exudes dignity, serenity and focus despite the deficient material. [more]

Daddy Long Legs

October 9, 2015

Jean Webster’s classic epistolary novel of the coming of age of a college age girl at the beginning of the twentieth century, "Daddy Long Legs," has been dramatized many times. What makes this charming new Off Broadway musical now at the Davenport Theatre different is that it is played by only two characters and as a result it remains extremely faithful to the original book. Although the show written by composer/lyricist Paul Gordon and book writer/director John Caird, (Tony Award winner for the original "Les Misérables" and "Nicholas Nickleby"), the team responsible for the 2000 Jane Eyre, can’t compete with the big brassy Broadway musicals down the block, its very old-fashionedness and fully rounded characters make it extremely satisfying and endearing in a way that few musicals are today. Just try to not care about these characters. [more]