Saturday, 8 September 2012


     The York Theatre Company has mounted a revival of the 1989 Richard Maltby,Jr./David Shire revue, CLOSER THAN EVER. Maltby has updated some of the lyrics and has staged the production on a simple unit set with a cast of excellent Broadway veterans, George Dvorsky,  Jacquelyn Piro Donovan, Anika Larsen and Sal Viviano, aided by a hard-working piano-bass combo. CLOSER THAN EVER is more a song cycle than a traditional revue. There are twenty-four songs about relationships, mostly about the sort of feelings middle-aged suburbanites might feel -- restlessness during a long marriage, anxiety about dating again after a breakup, loving the wrong person. While the performers were very good, I couldn't get into the show. Shire's songs all sound the same, mostly up tunes and patter songs with too few ballads. Maltby's lyrics tell stories within each song, but I kept thinking, "This isn't my life." I just didn't find much to relate to in all this perky heterosexual angst and Shire's music just isn't good enough to keep one's interest through twenty-four songs, many of which go on a verse or two -- or three -- too long.
CLOSER THAN EVER. York Theatre Company at St. Peters Center. September 7, 2012.

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