“My One And Only” at the Marriott Theatre contains some entertaining dancing and some actors with some pretty good pipes. There’s also a lot that it doesn’t contain. Being in the round, the show is robbed of many tricks of the trade that made it the extravaganza I’m sure it was on Broadway. The show is a spectacle, for the most part, a script written in the 1980’s to hearken back to the glory days of musicals. There is a plot, of course, and some characters with names, but really the show is a compilation of Gershwin tunes and fun dance numbers. Without amazing scene changes and dazzling lighting, the actual plot, characters, and everything else on the stage became a paper-thin glaze of names and dialogue that served only to transition from one number to another.
And, indeed, that seems to be the way the director treated it. All the lines of the show are said, for the most part, at the same volume level and tempo, seemingly to ensure that we all move along to the next song as quickly as possible. I felt that the few nuances the script actually did have were run over, roughshod. But considering that the female lead in the show is a water-ballet star forced into sleeping with her promoter because he’s blackmailing her with naked photos, perhaps the actual book is best left offstage. Racial stereotypes abound; 1983 apparently was not as progressive as some might remember it.
It is fun, I suppose. The audience all enjoyed it tremendously, and the performers seemed to be having a good time. A few of them were apparently known to the audience; at times an easy conviviality revealed itself between actor and audience, where the veil dropped for a moment and the actor just grinned out at the crowd and acknowledged the applause, gratefully. The designers did what they could to jazz up the space. There are a few fun scenery gags, and some of the costumes will make you grin. If you like winning singing and dancing, and you like Gershwin tunes, go check it out.