Jim and I (and my mom) went to see a reworking of the musical Two by Two — written by Peter Stone, lyrics by Martin Charnin and music by Richard Rodgers – at the York Theatre yesterday afternoon. It was part of a series called “Musicals in Mufti,” where there is minimal staging and preparations: the actors perform in street clothes and with script in hand. That being said, the cast was marvelous — it was heading by Jason Alexander as Noah and Tovah Feldshuh as his wife, two extremely talented performers — and directed by Martin Charnin.
Apparently, when it first ran back in the early 1970s, it starred Danny Kaye, who eventually pretty much ditched the script and took over the show. This time, there are three new songs either restored or pulled in from the Richard Rodgers songbook (and, of course, the original songs as well). It’s a good musical, and we enjoyed it immensely, although the ending does sort of fall flat (you can see what the writers are trying to do, but it just didn’t work all that well).
One interesting thing about the performance is that it was NOT miked, which, in this day of omnipresent microphones, was really refreshing. I mean, it was a small theater with good acoustics, and if the actors wanted to be heard, all they had to do was sing out…
In fact, we enjoyed it so much that Jim and I have gotten tickets to see the next products in two weeks: Hollywood Pinafore, with book and lyrics by George S. Kaufman and music by Sir Arthur Sullivan. (Yes, of course that Sullivan!). Apparently, in 1945 Kaufman decided to reset the operetta in Hollywood, in which a studio director’s daughter is in love with a lowly writer… We’re both G&S fans, and are really looking forward to it.