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Los Angeles Weekly



THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE

Filled with airy standards from Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, this puff of a musical, adapted freely from Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors by a lighthearted George Abbott is a delightful look back at an early, frivolous Broadway musical. The story of two sets of twins (one servants, the other masters), separated at birth and resulting in mistaken identities 20 years later, is intact. Fortunately, the book takes a back seat to the score. The show first appeared in 1938, so it wasn't governed by annoying contemporary restrictions on songs to propel the plot; therefore, the creators were able to plop silly musical confections in the middle of absurd and largely unrelated bits of sketch comedy. Director Arthur Allan Seidelman pushes this semi-staged concert-style production with enormous velocity, but it feels ever graceful, never rushed. This is also thanks to a remarkable cast of singer-actor-dancers who know how to fill each moment without indulgence. The on-stage orchestra is perfectly directed by Peter Matz, whose vocal work with the performers is also quite polished. Meanwhile, Travis Payne's clever and intricate choreography moves the show far beyond a mere concert. Reprise! Broadway's Best in Concert at UCLA, Freud Playhouse in Macgowan Hall, Wstwd.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; mats Sat.-Sun., 2 p.m.; thru Oct. 3. (213) 365-3500. (Tom Provenzano)

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Copyright © 1999 LA Weekly.
Posted 10/2/99