On The Town BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • On The Town
  • NY TIMES

  • DAILY NEWS

  • AP

  • HR

  • NBC

Opening Night:
October 16, 2014
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Lyric Theatre / 213 West 42nd St., New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Set in wartime 1944, On the Town chronicles the adventures of three sailors on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City. Their fabulous day-long journey is spurred by a search for sailor Gabey's dream girl, 'Miss Turnstiles.' Along the way, each sailor falls in love with a woman, and with New York City itself.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF On The Town

    Carried Away By the Sights! Lights! Nights! In ‘On the Town,’ the City Is Candy-Colored Heaven

    Ben Brantley

    October 16, 2014: And now, a show about sex that you can take the whole family to: the kids, the grandparents, even your sister the nun. That idea may sound kind of creepy, or (worse) dreary. But I assure you that the jubilant revival of On the Town, which opened Thursday night at the Lyric Theater, is anything but. On the contrary, this merry mating dance of a musical feels as fresh as first sunlight as it considers the urgent quest of three sailors to find girls and get, uh, lucky before their 24-hour shore leave is over. If there’s a leer hovering over On the Town, a seemingly limp 1944 artifact coaxed into pulsing new life by the director John Rando and the choreographer Joshua Bergasse, it’s the leer of an angel. The best-known song from this show — which has music by Leonard Bernstein, with book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green — describes its setting as “a helluva town.” But the town in question — “New York, New York,” if you didn’t know — feels closer to heaven here.

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF On The Town

    Revival is a love song to New York City with a great cast, classic score by Leonard Bernstein and wonderful dancing

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    October 16, 2014: Three footloose sailors aren’t the only ones who get lucky in On the Town. The audience does, too. Director John Rando has assembled a great cast for this fizzy and frisky revival of the 1944 musical by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Leonard Bernstein. Tracing a tale of World War II tars on leave in the big city, the production feels like a big, juicy kiss. So pucker up, New York. The 28-piece orchestra brings out all the splendor in Bernstein’s rapturous, red-blooded score. Musical gems sparkle, starting with the rousing “New York, New York” (“it’s a helluva town”), which gets things going. The playful “I Can Cook Too” and wistful “Some Other Time” follow in short order.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF On The Town

    'On the Town' Is a Helluva Revival

    Mark Kennedy

    October 16, 2014: The webs have been swept away, the comic book villains are long gone and even the name of the theater has changed. So what better way to bid farewell to the doomed Spider-Man musical at the re-christened Lyric Theatre than with a pure American classic? An exuberant, dazzling revival of  On the Town opened Thursday, filling Broadway's biggest theater with big, crowd-pleasing dance numbers, lavish and clever visuals and superb performances from a massive cast. It's simply a helluva show. The 1944 romance-chasing romp by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green — later made into a film with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra — has been celebrated by director John Rando and choreographer Joshua Bergasse, who have filled this lighter-than-air confection with helium.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF On The Town

    The 1944 hit that put Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden and Adolph Green on the Broadway map gets a spirited revival courtesy of director John Rando and a fine cast

    David Rooney

    October 16, 2014: A glorious 28-piece orchestra playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of a giant American flag safety curtain has the audience on its feet before On the Town gets started. But it’s the jagged blasts of brass, the languorously bluesy romantic ballads and the exuberant comedy numbers of Leonard Bernstein’s jazzy score that make this vibrant Broadway revival such transporting entertainment. Then there’s the dancing, with ballet interludes that mark the groundbreaking 1944 show as a distinctive hybrid. If the humor in Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s book veers into cornball, who’s complaining when the production packs so much charm? On the Town is remembered for the effervescent 1949 MGM screen version that starred Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, even if many of the songs were ditched. Comden and Green fleshed out the story of three couples caught up in whirlwind flings from the Jerome Robbins ballet Fancy Free, which still turns up in the New York City Ballet repertoire. The show’s original production had a healthy run of just over a year, ushering in a new kind of musical comedy. But Broadway revivals in both 1971 and 1998 fizzled. The director this time around, John Rando, embraces both the strengths and weaknesses of the musical about three World War II American sailors on 24-hour shore leave in New York City, looking for a quick hit of sightseeing and sex.

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  • NBC NEW YORK REVIEW OF On The Town

    One Helluva “Town”

    Dave Quinn

    October 16, 2014: Living in New York City, day in and day out, it’s easy to forget the fun of experiencing it all for the first time. The wonder of looking up at the skyscrapers from the streets below. The excitement of being among the diversity of its residents. It’s the sort of childlike discovery that makes even a crowded subway seem like a magical place. That unmitigated glee is alive and well at the Lyric Theatre, where the Broadway revival of the they-don’t-make-‘em-like-they-used-to musical On the Town is now open. Tony-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) has embraced the classic tale, about three American sailors on 24-hour shore leave in New York City during World War II, and staged a joyous production that’ll make you want to fall in love with the city — and musical theater — all over again.

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