'S Wonderful Review

Published: Monday, March 5, 2012 7:00 am By: William Reynolds Source: Rockland Lifestyle
brings the house down with Mary Millben's (Nina) powerful voice, style and grace.  To Nina's surprise, Jane returns and announces that her boyfriend has left her, and the postcards she had sent Jane were but a fabrication of her mind when she sings "It Ain't Necessarily So."   The third act opens in Paris in 1939, on the eve of the outbreak ofthe Second World War.  Leslie (Diedre Haren) is a waitress in a cafe.  While taking orders from customers, Leslie longs for the day in which she finds that special "Somebody from Somewhere."  Fate intervenes when a handsome young sailor stops into the cafe.  Realizing that, at any moment, the young soldier could be given his marching papers, the starry-eyed couple must face the cruel reality thrust upon them.  Gene and Leslie sing "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off.'" In September 1939, war breaks out in Europe.  Gene follows his commanding officer's orders as the orchestra plays 'Strike Up the Band,'  but before he departs, Gene and Leslie perform a beautifully choreographed ballet to the tune "An American in Paris." Fast forward to the year 1945, and we see Leslie reading the front page headlines announcing that the war is over. Gene returns to Leslie's waiting arms, and together they sing "Our Love is Here to Stay." 

The unlikely heroine in the fourth musical is a make-up artist at a Hollywood studio in 1948.  A casting call is put out for a young female lead.  Jane (Stacey Harris) dutifully attends to the excited would-be starlets, as she sings "Funny Face," a Gershwin classic that was first introduced by Fred Astaire and his sister Adele in 1927.  Not overly impressed by the looks of the aspiring actresses, Jane boldly takes a stand and decides to audition, as well.  Undaunted by the task at hand, Jane sings one of my favorite songs "They All Laughed." I found myself mouthing the lyrics:   "They All Laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round, They all laughed when Edison recorded sound..."At the audition, each girl is asked to kiss the leading man, Gene.  To the surprise of the director, Gene picks Jane and they sing "Nobody But You."  In a moment, Jane's life has taken a dramatic turn, that she, herself, never thought was possible.  A career in show business and a man to share her life with.  But, no sooner is Jane signed to a contract with the studio, when her leading man walks off with one of his other leading ladies.  A downcast Jane sings "Isn't it a Pity." 

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