Fingers & Toes -- Ivoryton's New Musical Features Great Dancing

By Karen Isaacs

The new musical, Fingers and Toes, now at Ivoryton Playhouse is still a work in progress. It has been in progress for a number of years and more work needs to be done.

The premise of this three-person show is simple. Fingers -- a young composer -- and Toes -- a song and dance man - are under deadline pressure to present a show to a producer. The complications are they have no such show, the composer is suffering depression and writer's block because of a break-up with his wife, and there is no girl for the cast.

Or at least those are the main complications. Of course, a girl appears on the scene and she can sing and dance and even compose! Now this is set in 1939. Toes -- who is a playboy at heart -- immediately begins to woo her.

Finally the three come up with an idea for a show -- scenes about love. How original.

As I was watching this piece, I could not figure out the intentions of Logan Medland who wrote the book, music and lyrics. Is it meant to be a gentle spoof of the period such as Dames at Sea? Is it meant to be taken seriously? Who knows?

The plusses in this production are the fine performances by Aaron Berk as Fingers -- the love worn, despairing composer, Rick Faugno as Toes, the tap dancing playboy and Joyce Chittick as the girl, Molly Molloy. The latter two dance up a storm and project the right tone for the period.

The other plusses include a delightful set by Daniel Nischan of the delapidated former Ziegfeld Roof Theater and good musical direction. And there are some very nice songs scattered in the show, though some other numbers need to be cut.

The tunes are evocative of the period even if some are too long or forced.

The problems? The plot is too convoluted and goes on much too long. This would make a delightful 90 minute intermission-less piece.

So for some wonderful performances and some pleasant music, head up to Ivoryton Playhouse for Fingers & Toes through June 22.

This review aired on WNHU-FM 88.7 and on www.wnhu.net


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