My One and Only | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

My One and Only 

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MY ONE AND ONLY, Drury Lane Oakbrook. This faux Gershwin musical boasts a score cobbled together from ten real Gershwin shows and aptly silly dialogue by Peter Stone and Timothy S. Mayer about a quixotic romance between a would-be Lindbergh and an ex-English Channel swimmer. The point--other than to stitch together treasures like "'S Wonderful" and "Strike Up the Band"--is to convey the thought that fame counts less than love.

But tap dancing counts more than anything in Ray Frewen's revival of this 1983 Tony winner. Thanks to Tammy Mader's hardworking choreography, Andrew J. Lupp--our flyboy--really takes to the skies, especially in an elegant tap duet with Kate Strohbehn as his heartthrob. In a second-act showstopper, Lupp and Ron Hutchins unleash a title-song tour de force that practically made the audience spontaneously combust. Even more thrilling was "Kickin' the Clouds Away," when everyone in the ensemble got rhythm: Who could ask for anything more?

Unfortunately Lupp and Strohbehn were more persuasive on their feet than in their lines. But this ain't Chekhov--it's just a boy-meets-girl story that proves honesty is the best policy. The best line on opening night was ad-libbed by Neil Friedman, playing the Russian heavy who clumsily blackmails the English girl. When the gun that shot him didn't go off, he staggered and shouted, "Not the silencer!" garnering an unexpected ovation.

--Lawrence Bommer


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