'My Romance: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart' thrills and diverts
My Romance: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart
Quality Hill Playhouse
"My Romance: The Songs of Rodgers and Hart" is a musical revue beautifully rendered, in the satisfying and old-fashioned portrayal that the Quality Hill Playhouse excels at. J Kent Bernhart's memorable quips, quiet tones, and piano expertise matched the brilliant vocal talents of his co-stars.
The songs that were chosen for the review veered from light-hearted to heartbreaking, gracefully and swiftly. While the songs displayed different emotions, all of them focused on the theme of love. As Bernhart quipped that the songs were about, "Falling in love with one person. Having an affair with another, then running for president."
Bernhart said, during one of his song introductions, that Rodgers and Hart considered their songs as part of a story, and the cast of the show does a brilliant job of representing that.
Lauren Braton had a wonderful Broadway voice, with wonderful expression and comic grace, that was aided her clever version of "Zip" and in the duet "Thou Swell" with Jon Daugharthy. Daugharthy's layered tones and charmed aided him in his varied songs. The standout of not only his songs, but the revue, was his energetic and original rendition of "The Lady is a Tramp". Stephanie Laws ranged from sultry to emotionally raw. Her renditions of "Bewitched" and "You Took Advantage of Me" were lovely and haunting.
Whenever the quartet sang together they feature tight and fusing harmony. The strongest ensemble song was the wonderful arrangement of "Blue Moon", one of Rodgers and Hart's best known songs. The four singers sang it a cappella in the tradition of barbershop quartet.
The band, comprised of Ken Remmert and Brian Wilson was brilliant. They played onstage with the singers, and were indeed just as integral to the show.
The show was breezy without being forgettable. It was diverting and rich with humor and brilliant tunes and singers.