Romance, scandal, comedy and music collide in Honeymoon in Vegas.
The show tells the story of Jack, a Brooklynite with an extreme fear of marriage, who finally gets up the nerve to ask his girlfriend Betsy to marry him. But when smooth-talking gambler Tommy — looking for a second chance at love — falls head over heels for Betsy, Jack must go to extreme heights to win back the love of his life. A romantic romp from New York to Vegas to Hawaii, HONEYMOON is non-stop, laugh-out-loud Broadway fun!
Composer & Lyricist Jason Robert Brown, who is best known for dramatic works such as The Last 5 Years, Parade and Bridges of Madison County steps outside his comfort zone to bring us a musical comedy! While some of the score reflects melodies found in some of JRB’s other works, most of Honeymoon in Vegas is a surprisingly fresh detour. Jason Robert Brown’s lyrics are both witty and a hilarious cliché. The audience roared for numbers such as “Never Get Married”, “Friki-Friki” and “Higher Love”, while tunes like “You Made the Wait Worth While” counter the laughs with a simplistic sweetness.
The orchestra, led by Tom Murray, starts the show off with a bang. At the top of the show the band is center stage-turning the typical overture into a standout Vegas style performance. The music is energizing and sets the palpable emotional whirlwind of the show.
Rob McClure plays Jack with a nerdy likability and Nancy Opel is hilarious as Jack’s overbearing dead mother. Tommy Korman is reminiscent of characters many of us have seen Tony Danza play before, making him seem like an obvious choice for the role. Danza does a technically fine job singing and dancing but his charming charisma might be more easily captured on film. Every moment Brynn O’Malley is on stage as Betsy she is fully present and engaging. David Josefsberg is a delight as both Buddy Rocky and nearly stops the show as Roy Bacon. The ensemble of Honeymoon in Vegas is stellar. They shine in their individual moments but also bring the dance and vocal numbers to life with ease. The choreography by Denis Jones is vibrant, but what really sells the movement is the unique personality each ensemble member brings to their respective character.
Director Gary Griffin knows how to squeeze every last possible laugh out of each scene. Sometimes outrageous and sometimes understated, Griffin seems to have found the perfect blend to compliment Andrew Bergman’s book. Brian Hemesath’s costume designs are fun and completed with the hair and wig designs by Charles G Lapointe. The scenic and projection design by Anna Louizos is top notch as is the seamless sound design by Scott Lehrer and Drew Levy.
Honeymoon in Vegas is overall an enjoyable show. It will leave you with a smile on your face. Go see it! The team over at the Nederlander made it worth the while!Review By: Staci Morin
Photos By: Sara Krulwich