(Please click on the title for the full review.)
The Roundabout Theatre has lovingly revived this 1985 musical adaptation of Dickens' unfinished novel. Rupert Holmes had the idea of presenting the story as an English music hall entertainment of the 1890's, with the added twist of letting the audience vote for the ending at each performance. It ran for over 600 performances and won Tonys for best musical, best score and best book. That, to me, is the real mystery. The spirited and talented cast is led by Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, Gregg Edelman, Jim Norton and Chita Rivera. The set design by Anna Louizos is excellent and William Ivey Long's costumes are a delight. Scott Ellis directed. There is abundant merriment, but it seemed forced rather than effortless. The audience was much younger than typical for Broadway and responded with wild enthusiasm all evening. It just wasn't my cup of tea. Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes including intermission.