Darling of the Day | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Darling of the Day 

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The program lists one intermission, but the show has two. Light Opera Works' Web site says New Yorker Michael Montel, who resurrected this 1968 Broadway flop with an ecstatically reviewed 1998 concert reading, is directing, but it turns out it's staged by artistic director Rudy Hogenmiller. These last-minute shifts, earmarks of a troubled production, might help explain the show's flatness and timidity. The story is thin but potentially charming: a disillusioned painter escapes the rat race by assuming the identity of his recently deceased butler. Jule Styne's score is tuneful, and E.Y. Harburg's lyrics are ingenious, but Hogenmiller's idea-free staging drains them of panache. Some of the damage is undone, however, by a genuine chemistry between leads Roger Mueller and Mary Ernster. Through 11/6: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM. McGaw YMCA Child Care Center Auditorium, 1420 Maple, Evanston, 847-869-6300. $12-$39.

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