First Nighter: 'Doctor Zhivago' Caught at Musical Malpractice

April 22, 2015 1:02 AM

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The importance of being earnest was important to Oscar Wilde. In other theatrical endeavors, earnestness can be not only uninvolving but crippling. And perhaps the best compliment that can be paid the Michael Weller-Lucy Simon-Michael Korie-Amy Powers tuner tune-up of Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago is that it's earnest -- two hours and 40 minutes of tireless earnestness.

It's never a good idea to say outright that musicalizing something is a bad idea. We learned that, or should have, at least 60 years ago after Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe refused to believe it was a bad idea to turn George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and realized My Fair Lady. Nevertheless, mak...

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