The Most Happy Fella OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • NY POST

  • TM

  • VULTURE

  • TALKIN' BWAY

Opening Night:
April 2, 2014
Closing:
April 6, 2014

Theater: New York City Center / 130 West 55th Street, New York, NY, 10019

Synopsis: 

Frank Loesser’s most ambitious and romantic musical tells the heart-stopping story of an aging Napa Valley farmer, the young, lonely waitress who becomes his mail-order bride, and the restless, handsome ranch hand who turns her head. Loesser’s score displays an astonishing range – ardent operatic numbers stand side by side with Broadway show-stoppers, including “Somebody Somewhere”, “My Heart Is So Full of You”, “Big D” and “Standing on the Corner.”

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Most Happy Fella

    Uncorking a Napa Vintage for a Toast to Adult Romance

    Ben Brantley

    April 2, 2014: Say hello to springtime, New York. It’s been dragging its heels for too long. But at last it has finally and unmistakably arrived. And isn’t it bliss? Meteorologists and calendar keepers may choose to differ, but for my money, the true vernal equinox occurred on Wednesday night at City Center, when a rapturous production of The Most Happy Fella opened as part of the Encores! musicals in concert season. For this constant theatergoer of Manhattan — who, like many of you, has been blighted by the long, hard winter — Casey Nicholaw’s production of Frank Loesser’s 1956 classic feels like a great thaw.

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  • NEW YORK POST REVIEW OF The Most Happy Fella

    This ‘Happy Fella’ is a charming crowd-pleaser

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    April 3, 2014: Fans of glorious singing should hustle to City Center, where the intoxicating Encores! revival of The Most Happy Fella runs through Sunday. After landing a hit with Guys and Dolls, Frank Loesser followed up with Fella in 1956. That show is less well-known now, but its semi-operatic, stunningly beautiful score remains a connoisseur’s favorite. Encores! does Loesser justice with a 38-member orchestra. There are just as many people in the cast, with leads Laura Benanti, Shuler Hensley, Cheyenne Jackson and Heidi Blickenstaff in top form.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF The Most Happy Fella

    The Most Happy Fella

    Zachary Stewart

    April 3, 2014: A big musical-theater production number fades seamlessly into a dissonant operatic quartet in Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella, now receiving a revival by Encores! at City Center. This construct may seem weird for those accustomed to the rules of musical theater (or opera), but it feels perfectly natural in this idiosyncratic show that takes a little from both traditions. Opera fans and Broadway enthusiasts alike will find something to enjoy about this concert staging by director Casey Nicholaw and music director Rob Berman. The production draws out Loesser's lush and beautiful score while maintaining a rigorous approach to acting.

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  • VULTURE REVIEW OF The Most Happy Fella

    Theater Review: The Happy Return of The Most Happy Fella

    Jesse Green

    April 3, 2014: Three years ago, when a panel convened by New York Magazine set out to pick the greatest musicals ever, our only discussion of The Most Happy Fella concerned whether it should be categorized as an opera, and thus outside our purview. It certainly feels like one in its scope and depth and color, and it demands, in certain roles, classically trained voices. The title character is even Italian. But Frank Loesser, who wrote the whole damn thing, score and libretto and fascinating stage directions, resisted the high-tone label, even as he poured on the Puccini. He considered The Most Happy Fella a musical with a lot of music.

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  • TALKIN' BROADWAY REVIEW OF The Most Happy Fella

    The Most Happy Fella Theatre Review by Matthew Murray

    Matthew Murray

    April 3, 2014: Late in Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella, the title character, Tony, a Napa Valley grape farmer, hears the true first name of his beloved for the first time. And you know what? It's not that special, at least when compared to what he's called her since before they even officially met: Rosabella. But it sounds so foreign that we have no choice but to accept the attractive young woman by her sobriquet as well; after all, it describes her soul, the beating heart of love unchained, a melody given feminine form and harnessed expressly for the purpose of bringing music to a life that's long been devoid of it.

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