|you can keep the diamond,
I'll take the Vespa!
As usual, I have never seen the classic movie on which this musical is based. This new musical written by Paul Blake incorporates songs of Cole Porter into the story of Princess Anne, who escapes her strict diplomatic schedule to spend a day touring the city of Rome with a gentleman she meets on the street. What she doesn't know is that he's a journalist who knows exactly who she is, and is planning to write a story on her. In the fairly predictable plot, they two fall in-love-for-a-day and he rethinks his plan. Even though this is a new musical, it feels like a classic, with gorgeous orchestrations of classic songs, big dance numbers, and a compelling romance.
|Francesca (Christina Baldwin) and her dancing boys
|Joe (Edward Watts) and
Anne (Stephanie Rothenberg)
in front of the Trevi Fountain
As usual at the Guthrie, the production value is at the highest level possible. The costumes (by Matthew J. LeFebvre) are to die for, even ones that only appear on stage for a brief moment in the background. Gowns, hats, gloves, shoes, all gorgeous. The show also features amazing set construction (designed by Todd Rosenthal), with various pieces floating in and out from the sides, back and above. They've even recreated a portion of Rome's famed Trevi Fountain. Last but certainly not least, the orchestra sounds gorgeous. I should know, I was sitting almost directly behind the conductor, Andrew Cooke. This production truly is a feast for the eyes and ears!
Roman Holiday is playing in the Proscenim stage at the Guthrie from now until August 19. Check it out to see a Broadway-quality musical featuring lots of home-grown talent.