Honeymoon in Vegas: First Broadway Musical of the Year Opens
By: Ellis Nassour
Three-time Tony and Drama Desk winner and Oscar nominee Jason Robert Brown and Andrew Berman’s Honeymoon in Vegas is the first musical to sail onto Broadway in the new year. Bergman wrote the film the musical’s adapted from, not to mention Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles [rumored to be heading to the boards]. The always-watchable Rob McClure [Chaplin] and Tony Danza, with McClure lighting up the stage with his amazing comic skills and slapstick and Danza channeling Sinatra in the crooning department. We’ve been seeing a lot of Danza all over the city promoting the musical, following its successful 2013 run at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, but McClure has been all but a well-kept secret.
You’d certainly have to say they are equal stars – leading men – opposite the stunning Brynn O’Malley [last Annie revival]; and it’s a stellar credit to Danza and his [perhaps] lack of ego that he not only gives them billing over his name, but also the last bows in the curtain call.
The cast also features wonderful featured roles and by some shameless but hilarious scene stealers: the Tony and DD nominee Nancy Opel, still remembered for her brilliant turn in Urinetown, [who plays McClure’s character’s mother – and if she’s not nominee bound again, it would be one of the shockers of the season]; David Josefsberg as Vegas showman Buddy Rocky; Matt Allen of the Flying Elvises’ and Catherine Ricafort as a Hawaiian tour guide of a different kind; Matthew Saldivar as sidekick Johnny Sandwich; and Katie Webber, who can really shimmy better than that other Kate, as the revealing classical music artiste Sapphire de la Tour..
Directing is Gary Griffin on a comic playing field after helming the epic Color Purple, Choreography is by Denis Jones, making a welcome Broadway debut following Off Broadway’s Piece of My Heart.
Honeymoon in Vegas tells the story of Brooklynite Jack, madly in love but in extreme fear of commitment due to a curse from his dying mother. As he bravely attempt taking the plunge in Vegas with his Betsy, smooth-talking, conniving gambler enters the picture and schemes to steal the bride-to-be away. At the extreme height of this rom com, the Flying Elvises save the day.