Saturday October 12, 2013 / 7:30pmRuthless! The Musical
Assigned at Box Office
12600 Nicollet Ave.
Burnsville, MN 55337
How was your experience?
An amusing show, well performed. Especially recommended to those highly familiar with Broadway shows and classic movies -- there are many references to them -- and to those who have had a child with show business ambitions. The script needs to be pared down from its self-indulgent length -- nearly 3 hours with intermission -- by a hard-nosed play doctor. Unusually, for me it was the second act, where I was expecting a snappy denouement, that dragged, rather than the decidedly more amusing first act. Introduction of ambitious personal assistant Eve (as in "All About Eve") in the second act amounted to putting too much frosting on the cake to no purpose. The authors need to take a lesson from Gilbert & Sullivan on how to wrap up a light-weight plot. I was amazed by the quality of the cast in this community theater production. Special call-outs should be given to Christy Jones, a fantastic singer & performer in the role of Judy Denmark, and to Andy Elfenbein, a tenor who plays cross-dresses in the role of Sylvia St. Croix with talent and panache. Olivia Coon is cute and charmingly psychopathic in the role of 9-year-old Tina Denmark. She belts out her numbers with aplomb, although strictly in the singing department she is outshown by Jillian Jacobson in the tragically shortened role of Louise Lerman. The music is ably performed by a band under the direction of Vern Hamberg, who leads from the piano while hammering out a difficult score. He is assisted by Melissa Warhol on second piano and a rhythm section. The songs, although not memorable, do a good job of carrying the story along. No one is likely to leave humming one of the songs, although a curmudgeon might leave humming possibly the best song in the show -- "I Hate Musicals"!