HONEYMOON IN VEGAS tells the story of a man who has an enormous fear of marriage and his longtime girlfriend who is ready to leave if it doesn’t happen soon. We meet a gambler who is looking for another shot at love and will do whatever it costs to make it happen. This world-premiere musical takes place at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey and, fingers-crossed, is bound for Broadway.
Jason Robert Brown writes beautiful story songs that are completely mesmerizing. The first few numbers seemed true to his usual form but then we hit “When You Say Vegas” and not a hint of his common technique can be found. How refreshing to know that a well known composer has many tricks up his sleeve and is diverse in his music. One line I chuckled at due to the rhyme scheme was “Could I feel rottener, I should have gotten her, out of the sun.” Oh and the “Friki-Friki” song. Now that was an interesting sexual number.
Tony Danza plays Tommy. His soft shoe number “A Little Luck” was one of the most endearing things I’ve seen on stage. Although his voice is mediocre at best, his acting is sound and he is charming to watch. Rob McClure plays Jack and was a joy. He buzzed around the stage making a commotion wherever he went. Brynn O’Malley played Betsy. She is truly a leading lady at its finest. Not only does she have a marvelous voice, she commands the stage. The entire ensemble was utilized well. Almost the entire cast had lines and/or solos.
The twelve piece band on stage was delightful. They looked like they were having the time of their lives and even did a few costume changes. Scenic designer, Anna Louizos, did a great job of transitioning from New York to Vegas and Hawaii. The use of the stage and trap doors were smart. Everything and everyone had a place and a reason to be there.
The show is the full package. Dancing, singing, a lovely set, magnificent costumes and a good story line. There is no time to be bored. Do yourself a favor, go see this show. For more information: http://www.papermill.org