“MY ONE AND ONLY” A FANTASIA OF FANCY FOOTWORK


BONNIE GOLDBERG

If you could channel the great tap dancing stars of the past, the Fred Astaires, Gene Kellys and Bill “Bojangles” Robinsons, you’d have the perfect mind set and fancy footwork to enjoy the Goodspeed Musicals’ current delight “My One and Only.” While you don’t have to sign up for tap dancing lessons at your local Arthur Murray studio, you may feel compelled to try.

Until Saturday, June 25, this Gershwin brothers musical treat will be planting footsteps straight to your heart as it introduces a lovesick aviator, Captain Billy Buck Chandler, who falls hard and fast (think crash landing) for a reigning beauty queen, Edythe Herbert, who has just swum the English Channel.

The turbulence in their love story comes in the personage of one Prince Nicolai (Nikki) Erraclyovitch Tchatchavadze whose bad deeds are at least as long as his name.  Nikki has compromising photos of Edythe and he is not above blackmailing her to make sure she is an accommodating star in his new Aquacade movie.

While Captain Billy, an engaging Tony Yazbeck, has his heart set on being the first pilot to fly nonstop from New York to Paris, he is willing to let Edythe, a charming Gabrielle Ruiz, reset his sights and compass on Cuba in her quest to escape the clutches of the dastardly Nikki (Khris Lewin).

Sabotaging Billy’s plane, even though it is guarded by his faithful mechanic Mickey (Kirsten Wyatt), Nikki causes the two lovebirds to fly off course and land on a deserted island.  Add to the plot, spies, a most unlikely love connection, tons of toe tapping numbers, great hit tunes like “It’s Wonderful,” “Strike Up the Band,” “Funny Face,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “How Long Has This Been Going On” and a tutorial in sophistication at Mr. Magix’s Emporial by a suave and smooth Alde Lewis, Jr. and you have all the ingredients for a fantastic evening of fun and high flying footwork.

 Ray Roderick directs this flighty spectacular, with fleet of foot choreography by Kelli Barclay and colorful costuming by Robin L. McGee, on a creative set designed by James Youmans.

For tickets ($28-72), call Goodspeed Musicals, 6 Main Street, East Haddam, on the picturesque Connecticut River at 860-873-8668 or online at www.goodspeed.org.  Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select shows at 2 p.m.), Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. (with select shows at 6:30 p.m.).

Tap your way into the Jazz Age, circa 1927, as Captain Billy sets his course straight for Paris, with a side trip to discover love.

 


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