Friday, February 12, 2010

Maltz Jupiter Theatre: Tintypes (2 reviews)

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre production of Tintypes opened February 9th, 2010.
In this revue of pre-World War I America, our nation is chronicled in a nostalgic musical journey that takes us back to the exciting and tumultuous period in history that made our country great. This grand pageant, featuring works by George M. Cohan, John Philip Sousa and Scott Joplin, among others, is a blend of patriotic songs, romantic tunes and ragtime, including Yankee Doodle Boy and America the Beautiful.
J. Barry Lewis directed a cast that included Lisa Estridge, Howard Kaye, Christine Paterson, Dara Seitzman and Christopher Vettel, with musical direction by John Mercutio.

John LaRiviere reviewed for Talkin'
A live six-piece orchestra is ably lead by music director John Mercurio, whose ragtime piano playing is a highlight of the show. The ensemble singing is solid, but the vocal blend of the performers needs some tweaking.
Dara Seitzman appears timid at first, but soon emerges as a fine comedienne. She is feisty in her duet with Christopher Vettel entitled "Make me Love You," and her second act solo "Jonah Man" is one of the best songs in the show.
Christine Patterson is lovely as Anna Held. Her rendition of "Kiss Me Again," which displays her high notes, is also one of the best songs in the show
Christopher Vettel is obviously well trained, and his voice technically fits the music quite nicely.
Howard Kaye, our quintessential immigrant, provides the strongest comic presence throughout the show as in the song "Then I'd Be Satisfied" and the vaudeville standup routine in second act.
Choreography by Josh Rhodes is entertaining but a bit stale, and is under-executed by a cast of performers who are clearly singers rather than dancers... Rhodes and director J. Barry Lewis need to find a stronger way of connecting the songs, as many of them whiz by quickly.
Hap Erstein reviewed for the Palm Beach Post:
This material works best when presented simply and effortlessly, but that is not the approach that director J. Barry Lewis and his talented cast of five have taken. Instead, they press terribly hard to please, grabbing these songs by the throat with an insistent delivery that drains them of their natural joy. Nor is the show helped by Josh Rhodes’ mechanical choreography.
Standouts in the cast include Lisa Estridge, who handles such mournful ballads as Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child and Nobody, as well as Christopher Veitel (I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen), even if he is visually more reminiscent of Donald Sutherland than Teddy Roosevelt.
The show’s title, Tintypes, suggests a series of early photographs, but too much of this Maltz production is uninvolving and out of focus.
Tintypes plays at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre through February 28.

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