Is “Victor Victoria” at Stages the Real Thing?
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“Victor Victoria” is an attractive show at Stages. It is the last offering of their current season. Like many shows at Stages, the production values are colorful, energizing and imaginative. Stages always has a very special, cozy atmosphere at the Robert Reim Theater in Kirkwood. It’s part of the appeal.
“Victor Victoria” is the story of a poor English soprano who hatches a gender plot with a gay night club entertainer in PARIS. The year is 1934. Janna Cardia is Victoria, the impoverished singer who finds a steady pay check playing a man who is playing a woman playing a man. David Schmittou is the gay entertainer who is her partner in the deception. Schmittou carries his role with consistency and a nice flair. Cardia does a good job, but sings so loudly in some places that it’s almost unnerving.
Stealing the show is Steve Judkins in a turn as a gay body-guard for a mobster. Judkins is a Nathan Lane clone, and that is meant as a compliment. He is especially strong in Act II.
The primary issue with this production is that the lead roles never really connect with the audience. The “wink wink, nod nod” angle wears out early. And basically, the show is just too long with many songs that are thoroughly forgettable, especially in Act II.
“Victor Victoria” at Stages functions well as a nice, bright diversion. Been when it’s all over, it doesn’t really represent Stage’s best work.