Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I still love She Loves Me

Brooks Ashmanskas brings down the house with the title song.

I went back to the Huntington's She Loves Me with some slight trepidation, I confess, rather like that feeling you get after a fantastic first date; was it real? Or were you in some crazy state you didn't understand - maybe something hit you on the head, and you hadn't realized it?

Well, I needn't have worried - it's real; the show was just as captivating the second time around. It was interesting to see how it had settled in - at first it wasn't as high energy as it had been on opening night (understandable - this was a Tuesday, after the actors' one day off), and there were a few muffed lines - but gradually it came clear that if the show was slightly less precise, it had actually grown in romantic atmosphere (to quote one of its funniest lines). And while the audience, a slightly tired weekday crowd (it had been sweltering all day) wasn't as responsive as a typical opening night crowd (which is usually stocked with board members, dedicated subscribers, actors, and friendly hangers-on), you could feel it gradually falling under the musical's spell. By the end, just as before, everyone was near rapture, and I was convinced this was one of the most charming shows I've seen in my life. And how anyone could doubt Brooks Ashmanskas's performance (above) is just beyond me. The partner unit has already seen it three times. If there are tickets, I'm tempted to make one last visit myself. It closes Sunday, but opens again in Williamstown on June 27.

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