Review: Come Fly Away (Broadway in Chicago)

| January 12, 2012
Broadway in Chicago presents the national tour of "Come Fly Away," created by Twyla Tharp, and featuring music by Frank Sinatra. (photo credit: Joan Marcus)       
      
Come Fly Away 

Conceived and Directed by Twyla Tharp
Bank America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe (map)
thru Jan 22  |  tickets: $32-$95   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     


     
       

Dancing with Ol’ Blue Eyes

     

Broadway in Chicago presents the national tour of "Come Fly Away," created by Twyla Tharp, and featuring music by Frank Sinatra. (photo credit: Joan Marcus)

    
Broadway in Chicago presents
    
Come Fly Away

Review by Lawrence Bommer

In little more than an hour this delirious entertainment, now exploding at the Bank of America Theatre, combines the sophisticated song stylings of the great, late Frank Sinatra (lifted from signature recordings), a superb live orchestra accompanying the Chairman of the Board, and the volatile, spontaneous, quicksilver movements of Twyla Tharp, the show’s conceiver and creator, interpreted by the most exciting dancers this Broadway in Chicago presents the national tour of "Come Fly Away," created by Twyla Tharp, and featuring music by Frank Sinatra. (photo credit: Joan Marcus)side of everywhere.

The 13 unbelievably fluid and immensely hardworking hoofers portray every stage of love coursing through the dancers at a nightclub. Four couples fall in and out of infatuation, flirtation, obsession, reluctance, conquest and more, aided and abetted by the great crooner’s smooth and seductive vocals.

A gymnastic as much as terpsichorean marvel, Ron Todorowski is the incredibly acrobatic bartender who weaves in and out of a triangle tripped out by John Selya and Mallauri Esquibel to “You Make Me Feel So Young.” “Here’s to the Losers,” an unfamiliar Sinatra offering, is performed by the company with a suave confidence that belies its pretend-sympathy.

Anthony Burrell and Ashley Blair Fitzgerald swing as loosely as Sinatra’s laid-back “That’s Life” can permit, while “Makin’ Whoopee” takes on new significance with changing partners. The most exhilarating numbers—“Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week,” “I’m Gonna Live ‘Til I Die,” “My Way,” “Luck Be A Lady” and “New York, New York”—catch up all four couples and the swings in a swirl of vibrant lifts, leaps, slides and flips that enchants the living and could raise the dead.

The band, working with original arrangements by Nelson Riddle, Quincy Jones and others, and several of whom have backed up Sinatra before, get their own moment of glory, a “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” that was just that.

Broadway in Chicago presents the national tour of "Come Fly Away," created by Twyla Tharp, and featuring music by Frank Sinatra. (photo credit: Joan Marcus) Broadway in Chicago presents the national tour of "Come Fly Away," created by Twyla Tharp, and featuring music by Frank Sinatra. (photo credit: Joan Marcus)
Broadway in Chicago presents the national tour of "Come Fly Away," created by Twyla Tharp, and featuring music by Frank Sinatra. (photo credit: Joan Marcus) Broadway in Chicago presents the national tour of "Come Fly Away," created by Twyla Tharp, and featuring music by Frank Sinatra. (photo credit: Joan Marcus)

   

Twyla-sharp, the awesome athleticism, non-negotiable comeliness, and perfect fits in duos and breakout numbers of this flawless troupe honor all the quirky glory and psychological patterning of Tharp’s thinking dancing. Few shows pack more intelligent energy into every all-absorbing minute. No question, however fit and young, these dancer/actors must return to their dressing rooms utterly exhausted. But, basking in their afterglow, the audience is richly grateful for all these last full measures of devotion.

  
Rating: ★★★★
  
   

Come Fly Away continues through January 22nd at the Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe (map). Tickets are $32-$95, and are available by phone (800-775-2000) or online at Ticketmaster.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at ComeFlyAway.com(Running time: 75 minutes, no intermission)

Martin Harvey and Ashley Blair-Fitzgerald in Broadway in Chicago's "Come Fly Away," created by Twyla Tharp, and featuring music by Frank Sinatra. (photo credit: Joan Marcus)

All photos by Joan Marcus 


     

artists

cast

Anthony Burell, Matthew Stockwell Dibble, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Stephen Hanna, Ramona Kelley, Meredith Miles, Marielys Molina, John Selya, Ron Todorowski, Christopher Vo, Martin Harvey (lead dancers); Colin Bradbury, Nathan Madden, Marceea Moreno, Candy Olsen, Julius Anthony Rubio, Tanairi Sade Vazquez, Michael Williams (ensemble); Mallauri Esquibel, Marina Lazzaretto, Amy Ruggiero, Justin Urso, Chechon Wespi-Tschopp, Jeffery B. Hover, Mindy Wallace (swings)

behind the scenes

Twyla Tharp (director, creator, choreographer); Ron Todorowski (resident director); Amy Ruggiero (dance captain); James Youmans (set design); Katherine Roth (costumes); Donald Holder (lighting); Peter McBoyle (sound design); Talitha Fehr (music coordinator); Dave Pierce (additional arrangements); Sam Lutfiyya (music supervisor); Rob Cookman (music director): Charles Pignone (creative consultant); Kim Craven (asst. director/choreographer); John M. Galo (production stage manager); Lisa Embs (asst. stage manager); Joan Marcus (photos)

orchestra

Rob Cookman (conductor, piano); Steve Leinheiser, P.J. Perry, Doug Lawrence, Paul McGinley (reeds); Mike Herriott, Tim Burke, Jim Keen (trumpets); Scott Bentall, James Nelson, Tom Matta (trombones); Bill Harrison (bass); Steve Roberts (guitar); Paul Ringenbach (drums)

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Category: 2012 Reviews, Bank of America (Shubert), Dance, Lawrence Bommer, National Tours, Twyla Tharp

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