"Marry Harry" at the York Theatre Company - Will's New York Nite Life
"Marry Harry," a New Musical at the York Theatre Company at St. Peter's
By Dan Martin, Michael Biello, & Jennifer Robbins
The York Theatre Company at St. Peter’s
619 Lexington Avenue, (212) 935-5820
Now through May 21, 2017
There are many socially significant works of musical theater currently being offered both on Broadway and off, but relatively few that are as breezy and charming as this modest and thoroughly entertaining new one act production at the York. By comparison, In Madama Butterfly, it feels like it takes 80 minutes just for Cho-Cho San to commit hari-kari, but here we’re in and out in that length of time and it actually feels like half that. This is the musical equivalent of a “chick flick” or a “rom com,” with a cast of four, plus the most effective use of a Greek Chorus that I’ve seen in a while - a singing-dancing trio that narrates and describes the action, starting in Bob Fosse bowler hats and suspenders but then reappearing as waiters, little old Italian ladies, and in bridal gowns. The material is contemporary - there are references to smartphones and Uber - but the overall style is in the classic tradition. The music, lyrics, and book (by Dan Martin, Michael Biello, & Jennifer Robbins, respectively) are as bright and cheerful as a New Yorker cartoon by Roz Chast, which is exactly what the sets seemed to have been inspired by. So-called “date movies” come and go but this is a great show, completely free of politics or cynicism, to bring your best girl or guy to.
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL & VANITY FAIR, and reviews current shows for THE OBSERVER and THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of eight books including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)