Tuesday October 17th 2017

“My One and Only”

Recommended*** and perhaps to some **** There is nothing like a show with great tap dancing! There is nothing like the music and lyrics of the Gershwin brothers! There is nothing more fun than an evening at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire when the musical features dance! This being said, while I enjoyed the talent assembled on Marriott’s stage under the direction of Tammy Mader, the script ( book by Peter Stone and Timothy S. Mayer) of their newest production, “My One and Only” is lacking in story! It is a corny little tale about boy meets girl- love at first sight- boy and girl have different lifestyles and in the end, after a great deal of wooing and sacrifice, they end up married and tap dancing their way to a perfect life. Wow! If this could really happen!

Yet, it does take place on the in-the-round staging at the Marriott, with some very clever choreography by Mader who proves to be a solid “tap” pro with one number that is close to 17 minutes to the title song , “My One and Only” as danced by Mr. Magix (Ted Louis Levy, an outstanding tap man) and our hero Captain Billy Buck Chandler, Marriott’s answer to Gene Kelly, Andrew Lupp). If you don’t enjoy tap, and I cannot believe  there is anyone who doesn’t, this will change your opinion. In fact, watching these two men take the stage is worth the price of the ticket alone, but there is a lot more! Over these many years of operation, as Marriott grew to be the largest regional theater subscription base, for the most part they have chosen their plays to perfection. Once in awhile, the choice they make is not one that appeals to their large base, but with the solid production team they have , they are able to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear whenever this happens. This may be the softest silk purse in their history.

Billy is a pilot, who wants to be the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean, non-stop. When he meets Edythe Herbert ( Summer Naomi Smart, who keeps proving that she cann handle any role) who has just swam the English Channel, it is love at first sight, but she is being held hostage by Prince Nicolai ( a Russian mobster played to perfection by the always reliable character actor Roger Mueller) while the couple banter for position with melodies like “”Blah,Blah,Blah”, “He Loves and She Loves”, “S’Wonderful”,”Nice Work If You Can Get It”,”Funny Face” and “How Long Has This Been Going On” in addition to many others and the ensemble of  breathtaking dancers, Jaclyn Burch, Jameson Coper, Dina DiConstanzo, Zachary L. Gray, Amanda Kroiss, Alex McCrary, Matt Raftery,Stephen Schellhardt, Steven Spanopoulis,Tiffany Topol and Melissa Zaremba and the New Rhythm Boys ( who do some great specialty dance routines) Quinn M. Bass, Jarran Muse and Clinton Roane as well as Marriott regulars Felicia P. Fields and Paula Scrofano do their stuff, we ar ein for a solid evening of entertainment. The second act gets stronger and the dance routines far outweigh those of the first. Do not let the first act get you down. After the intermission, you can return to your seat knowing that you will be highly entertained and will leave the theater with a smile on your face, a melody in your heart and wishing that you could hop on a platform and “tap” your way to happiness”.

As always, the tech people make the productions at Marriott ones to remember. Although the stage cannot have a major set ( in-the round makes it difficult) Thomas M. Ryan does a great bit of detailing; Jesse Klu’s lighting is direct and colorful; Sally Weiss handles the smaller props; Nancy Missimi always creates costumes with just the right touch and time period; and Robert . Gilmartin ensures that we hear every word of every song as well as the great beat of the tap dances on the stage. Michael Mahler handled the Music Direction and as always Patti Garwood conducts the Marriott Orchestra and handles the keyboards herself.

Theater is meant to be a diversion from our everyday lives and this has been the desire of Marriott over these many years. As I said earlier, the story may be hokey and corny, the dialogue weak, but the music is fun, the talent assembled on the stage “first class” and the Tap Dance supreme. “One and Only” will continue at Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre located on the resort grounds at 10 Marriott Drive ( just South of half Day Rd/RTE 22 and East of Milwaukee Ave/RTE 21) in beautiful Lincolnshire through January 6th with performances as follows:

Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.,Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.,Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 5 p.m.

Special added Holiday performances have been added including New year’s Eve.

Tickets range from $40-$48 with discounts for students and seniors and if you purchase a season ticket plan, you can get to see five shows for the proce of three. There are NO bad seats in this theater- for sure!

To order your tickets call the box offcie at 847-634-0200 or visit www.Ticketmaster.com or www.MarriottTheater.com

There are also dinner packages available on Wednesdays and Thursdays ( not Turket day) for as low as $55 per person in two of their fine dining rooms- plenty of free parking as well as valet

To see what others say, go to my home page, link to theatreinchicago.com, click review round-up and click on “My One and Only”


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