“My One and Only,” Tapping the Night Away
Stages in Kirkwood has mounted a colorful confection of George & Ira Gershwin’s “My One and Only” that is visually pleasing and so bright and shiny you might need sun glasses.
The mostly excellent cast is led by David Elder and Tari Kelly. Elder plays Captain Billy “Buck” Chandler, a Texas hick aviator in 1927 trying to be the first man to fly from the United States to Paris. Kelly is Edith Herbert, a woman with a career that has made her famous as someone who swam the English Channel and can high dive into shallow amounts of water. Herbert is under the control of a phony show biz impresario, Prince Nicky, played with nice comic pizzazz by Steve Isom.
Dexter Jones is a dance highlight of the show as Mr. Magix, a kind of men’s life stylist who helps Chandler win the heart of Edith.
The comedy highlight of the show is a scene between Isom and Zoe Vonder Haar as Mickey, Chandler’s long-suffering mechanic. It’s in Act II and their performance chemistry together and timing are perfect, and hilarious.
“My One & Only” has a storyline that is very slight, but the great Gershwin score, with classics like “””S Wonderful,” “Strike Up the Band” and the title song make the entire evening worthwhile. I must admit that while David Elder danced his role nicely, from an acting standpoint he was much like watching a Ken Doll perform, which didn’t help the credibility of his character’s relation with Kelly’s Edith.
Costuming, set designs and lighting are all first-class. And is usually the case, Stage’s has crafted this show to take full advantage of their performance space. It is in many ways the perfect kind of show for Stages. What it lacks in book it makes up for with wonderful music and polished, energized choreography that at times almost seems non-stop.
“My One and Only” is the final show of Stages’ 2012 season, and will run through October 7.