'Can Can' at the Westchester Broadway Theatre is a can-do winner!

Published: Friday, September 7, 2012 7:00 am By: Kathryn Kitt Source: The Journal News

The Westchester Broadway Theatre has placed a fresh gloss on Cole Porter’s musical “Can Can.”

The score, while not one of Porter’s finest, does have notable chips from the master’s workbench with able-bodied direction by Richard Stafford.

Abe Burrows’ book neatly dramatizes the struggles of artists and dancers to express themselves against an oppressive French government.

“Can Can” tells the story of Pistache, the owner of a Montmarte dance hall in 1893 Paris. She battles the puritanical powers that be, including the pompous Judge Aristide Forestier, over the right to perform the “Can Can,” considered at the time to be a lewd and salacious dance. As in most musicals of the 1950s (it was written in 1953), all ends happily for all concerned.

Glory Crampton leads the show as Pistache, the feisty club owner. She sings the namesake song and several other numbers with a seamless technique and grace. Tony Lawson, as Aristide, complements Crampton with impeccable timing and chemistry. His beautiful baritone stops the show in the second act with “It’s All Right With Me.”

Comic relief is ably provided by Patrick Richwood, who plays the Bulgarian sculptor Boris with adroit timing and a Chaplinesque feel. A highlight was Boris’ second-act duel with art critic Hilaire Jussac, who was deliciously oily, as played by Charles West.

The dances, choreographed by Jonathan Stahl, captivated with acrobatics and beautiful lines.

Kick up your heels and head to “Can Can” for an old-fashioned feel-good experience!