On The Town is back on Broadway and is now playing at the Foxwoods Theatre.
Imagine another hiding space for your precious alcohol – besides the liquor closet, is inside a banana yellow piano at Carnegie Hall. This is one of the many comedic gags audiences enjoy while viewing “On The Town.” This Broadway revival (with its original theatre debut in 1944) is nothing short of mesmerizing. Upon first entering the Lyric Theatre in Manhattan, my eyes are drawn to the golden arches of the Box Office, where theatre-goers anxiously wait in line to pick up their tickets. With the TodayTix App, I avoided waiting in line and enjoyed the personalized ease of concierge agents who handed me my ticket; I felt like I was a part of the show. Today Tix, co-founded by Merritt Baer and Brian Fenty, is known as the new one-stop mobile app for theatre goers. Offering Broadway tickets at discounted prices for shows such as “Blue Man Group”, “The Radio City Christmas Spectacular” and “Avenue Q”, theatre-goers can purchase tickets, even last minute, to their favorite shows, with this quick app in the palm of their hands.
Classically, audiences are greeted by drawn red theatre curtains as they are escorted into their seats by ushers. Uniquely, audience members at “On The Town” stood at attention at the sight of a massive American Flag on stage. An enthusiastic pit orchestra dove straight into a rendition of the National Anthem and audience members proudly sang along. This sophisticated musical and visual appeal of patriotism seamlessly brought audience members into the story. Opening the show was the penetrating voice of Phillip Boykin, whose charisma set the tone of musical. The story features Ozzie, Chip and Gabey, three sailors who are on a twenty-four hour ship leave in New York City. Aspiring to see all New York has to offer, the three sailors come across a photo of Miss Turnstiles during a subway ride. Gabey insists on finding Miss Turnstiles (a secret show girl dancer, Ivy Smith), and the three split up in hopes of turning Gabey’s fantasy love into a reality.
The musical takes you through high-intensity dance numbers (choreographed by Joshua Bergasse) showcasing each of the sailor’s adventures and romances on their journey to find Miss Turnstiles. Megan Fairchild successfully revitalizes the quirky brilliance that Vera Ellen (cast in original 1949 film “On The Town” with Fred Astaire) once brought to the character of Miss Turnstiles. Fairchild’s ever-lasting stamina and bright, playful personality was a joy to experience. A quirky Jay Armstrong Johnson, who plays Chip, delivers goofy charm (resembling that of comedian Jim Carrey), in “Come Up to My Place” alongside Alysha Umphress, the fiery NYC taxi driver. Also noteworthy and surrounded by glittery bananas was Jackie Hoffman (the alcoholic, vocal coach of Ivy Smith), who kept us laughing and wanting more.
“On The Town” takes you on an upbeat and heartfelt journey, and causes each audience member to root for the unrequited love match of Gabey and Ivy Smith (Miss Turnstiles). Moreover, “On The Town” is a beautiful tribute to the pride that comes with being an American. “On The Town” pays respect to those who serve our country and the personal sacrifices one endures throughout love and war. “On The Town” is a must-see.