And the World Goes ‘Round
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Musical Direction by Christopher R Leavey
Concept by Scott Ellis. Susan Stroman and David Thompson
Winter Park Playhouse, Winter Park, FL
Kander and Ebb have written some of the most memorable music of the late 20th century. Their distinctive style underlies such great shows as “New York, New York,” “Cabaret,” “Chicago,” and many lesser pieces like “The Rink” and “70, Girls, 70″. The theme song “And the World Goes Round” begins the show with a rendition by Laura Hodos, but it reappears occasionally as a motif uniting the loosely related songs and styles. Most of this material lurks in the back of our collective conscience, but you wonâ€™t always remember where there came from. “Coffee in a Cardboard Cup” bemoans the fast pace of today and blames our loss of gentility and manners on Starbucks. Tim Evanicki popped off a winning version of “Sara Lee” complete with cardboard-box Carmen Miranda conga line. He returned later for a touching “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago, one of 4 songs from that popular show. Jennifer Lynn Warren spearheaded another Chicago number “All that Jazz” which nearly had the audience singing along, scary as that might sound.
WPPH co-founder Heather Alexander covered songs from The Rink and Funny Lady, including the plaintive “Colored Lights” and “How Lucky Can You Get?” Newcomer Robert Buchanan showcased “We Can Make It”, again from “The Rink.” Between the steady supply of costumes and set changes, the only weak spot was an odd arrangement of “cabaret”, which felt a bit spaced out and not nearly as naughty as the regular arrangement. These are the high points of the K&E partnership, and a great all singing, all dancing, all talking snapshot of the last 40 years of American show tunes.
For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org