Los Angeles Theater Preview: ‘S WONDERFUL: THE NEW GERSHWIN MUSICAL (Musical Theatre West)

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by Tony Frankel on April 4, 2014

in Theater-Los Angeles

HAVING A “‘S WONDERFUL” TIME

It should come as no surprise that the song catalog of George and Ira Gershwin—according to Los Angeles Times—generates about $8 million a year. The treasure-trove of tunes created by the Gershwin brothers between the early 1920s and 1937, when George died, include “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Shall We Dance,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Beginning tonight, April 4, Musical Theatre West will prove why these and almost 40 more Gershwin ditties remain timeless and magical when it presents ‘S Wonderful, a revue/musical with five plotted segments, set between 1924 and the present. Ray Roderick, who originally conceived, wrote and directed ‘S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical is back on board to helm this version at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach.

In essence, the show is five mini-jukebox musicals, so it really is about the performers, and MTW has assembled an amazing cast, including the ridiculously suave Damon Kirsche and his buttery-strong baritone; Kirsche consistently dazzles and gave one of the best musical theater performances ever when he appeared in Wonderful Town at Musical Theatre Guild last November. The other Broadway belters are Ashley Fox Linton (Death Takes a Holiday), Jeff Skowron (Silence! The Musical), Rebecca Spencer (Phantom in Vegas), and Rebecca Ann Johnson (MTW’s Young Frankenstein). The choreography is by Charlie Williams, who was assistant choreographer to Rob Ashford in the original revival cast of How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, and also appeared in that production.

Below are some photos from this production to whet your Gershwin appetite.

photos by Caught in the Moment Photography

‘S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical
Musical Theatre West
Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center
6200 Atherton St in Long Beach
plays through April 20, 2014
for tickets, call 562-856-1999 x 4 or visit www.musical.org

Rebecca Spencer as Rosemary in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful The cast of Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S WONDERFUL. Rebecca Spencer as Rosemary, Rebecca Ann Johnson as Jane, Damon Kirsche as Gene, and Jeff Skowron as Harold in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Rebecca Spencer as Rosemary, Ashley Fox Linton as Leslie, Jeff Skowron as Harold, and Rebecca Ann Johnson as Jane in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Rebecca Ann Johnson as Jane, Damon Kirsche as Gene, Ashley Fox Linton as Leslie and Rebecca Spencer as Rosemary in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Rebecca Ann Johnson as Jane in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Rebecca Ann Johnson as Jane, and Damon Kirsche as Gene in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Jeff Skowron as Harold, Rebecca Ann Johnson as Jane, and Rebecca Spencer as Rosemary in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Jeff Skowron as Harold and the cast of Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Jeff Skowron as Harold and Ashley Fox Linton as Leslie in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Damon Kirsche as Gene in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Ashley Fox Linton as Leslie, Jeff Skowron as Harold, and Rebecca Ann Johnson as Jane in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Ashley Fox Linton as Leslie in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful Ashley Fox Linton as Leslie and Damon Kirsche as Gene in Musical Theatre West's Production of 'S Wonderful

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