Once More, Back On The Town

October 17, 2014 12:05 AM

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Once More, Back On The Town

Playgoers who haven't walked away from a Broadway musical beaming since before they can remember should head over to Times Square for On The Town, the 1944 musical which introduced Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jerome Robbins. That fabled quartet is no longer with us, but their spirit--and their spirited debut work--is at the Lyric Theatre in sparkling shape. From the moment the three gobs on 24-hour leave slide down the gangplank at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to conquer "New York, New York," this romp of a spree is cookin' with gas. The fun starts three minutes earlier, actually, when a workman out of the chorus--Phillip Boykin, no less, the Crown in Audra McDonald's Porgy and Bess--gloriously fills the vast Lyric with that plaint about how he feels like he's not out of bed yet.

On The Town is not only a love-letter to New York (or at least, a fanciful version of World War II New York), it is an irrepressible tour of famous sights: Carnegie Hall, the Museum of Natural History, Times Square, Coney Island and most of all the subway. Comden and Green pioneered a fast and funny...

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