fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

I Love a Piano

I went over to the Lincoln Theatre after work last night to see Arena Stage's production of "I Love a Piano." I'm not big on jukebox musicals, in general, but this was based on Irving Berlin songs. And I'm always happy to support local theatre companies.

Alas, the show was decidedly lackluster. Most jukebox musicals have some semblance of a plot, while the only continuity here was a poor old piano being dragged back and forth between various owners. The problem was, frankly, that they used too many songs. Yes, Berlin wrote a lot of great songs, but presenting them bunched together in a series of medleys doesn't do them justice. While I'm glad they did use some lesser known songs (e.g. "Pack Up Your Sins,") the approach didn't do justice to my favorite Berlin songs. I was particularly disappointed in how "Blue Skies" and "How Deep is the Ocean" were mangled. They did a better job with the songs they just let stand on their own, e.g. "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning."

The staging / choreography wasn't bad, though tended to be a bit too cutesy. The performers didn't seem to have much energy, however. Overall, it didn't look like they were having a lot of fun - and neither was I.

Good songs are not enough to make a good show.

On the plus side, I hadn't actually been to the Lincoln Theatre before and it is as lovely as I'd heard it is.
Tags: musicals, theatre

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