Westchester Broadway Theatre’s “Can Can” – Viva la France!

Published: Monday, September 10, 2012 7:00 am By: Camille Kaiser Source: The CUE


After watching this colorful, energetic, light-hearted production, I wanted to hop on the next plane toParis!   The book by Abe Burrows is set in the year 1893 and tells the tale ofParisdance hall owner, La Mome Pistache (magnificently portrayed by Glory Crampton) whose business has become popular due to the sexy Can Can dance.  She battles with a self-rightious judge, Aristide Forestier (portrayed with equal brilliance by Tony Lawson) who is determination to shut down her business.  Their mellifluous voices certainly did justice to Cole Porter’s  classics, “C’est Magnifique” ,  “It’s  All Right With Me” and, of course, “I Love Paris”. 

When Judge Aristide investigates her dance hall business, La Mome Pastache seduces him and the two eventually fall in love.  By the time her case comes to trial, Aristide has had a change of heart and works to win her acquittal.  Their on-stage chemistry was infectious and while we all knew where this relationship was going, it was a pleasure to watch it evolve.

Under the skillful direction of Richard Stafford and musical direction of Craig Barna, the entire cast and ensemble delivered expert performances and nimbly performed Richard Stafford’s creative, complex choreography with boundless energy.  The “Garden of Eden” ballet was mesmerizing and the “Can Can” dance expertly performed by Pistache, Claudine (Lauralyn McClelland) and the ensemble, was dynamic.

The comedic timing and delivery was impeccable in “Never Never be an Artist”, where Patrick Richwood as Boris, whose energy and seemingly effortless physical antics throughout the production, turned a prop malfunction into a well-received laugh line.   Another audience pleaser was Boris’ duel with Hilaire (well played by Charles West), when once again Patrick wowed us with his comedic agility.

Costume design, by Loren Shaw, was colorful and authentic, as was the hair design by Gerard Kelly.  Set design by John Farrell and lighting design by Andrew Gmoser completed the illusion of a romanticParis.  The production continues through October 7th.  For reservations, call 914-592-2222.  Don’t miss it!