One of the shows that no-one ever expected to be revived was DO I HEAR A WALTZ?, the 1965 musical version of "Time of the Cuckoo", with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The show crashed and burned during it's original run and was basically relegated to the "fabulous flops" file. Fast forward to 2001 and the Pasadena Playhouse, who decided to dust off the show for a second chance at success.
Alyson Reed, who essayed the role of Cassie in the movie version of "A Chorus Line", played the lovelorn teacher Leona Samish whose holiday in Venice gives way to a whirlwind romance. Veteran Broadway star Carol Lawrence (most famously the original Maria in "West Side Story") plays the ebullient hotelier Signora Fioria, and sings the role's main number "This Week Americans" with all the showmanship and gusto that only a performer of her ilk can provide.
Alyson Reed's powerful and belty mezzo is well-used in her performance as Leona. The role's originator (Elizabeth Allen) had a similar sort of voice and the role really comes to life because of it. The rousing introductory number "Someone Woke Up", a fine combination of Rodgers at his most energetic and Sondheim at his most pragmatic, is indeed a highlight of the complete score.
While the work will never quite acheive the level of greatness that defines the all-time classic Broadway musicals, DO I HEAR A WALTZ? does give some pleasure with Richard Rodgers' most youthful and wondering score.
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About the reviewer
Byron Kolln (Byron_Kolln)
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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