Connie Fisher as Ruth Sherwood in Wonderful Town
22 May 2012 WOS Rating: Average Reader Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews
One of Leonard Bernstein’s lesser known scores,
Wonderful Town entertains just as much as his other composing successes; a joyous and uplifting story of two sisters in search of their dreams in the wonderful New York City. Ruth Connie Fisher and Eileen Sherwood Lucy Van Gasse leave their hometown of Columbus, Ohio with bags of ambition in search of love and success in New York. After moving into a rundown basement apartment, the pair quickly realise that life in the big city is not all they thought it would be, questioning themselves in the warming duet to their hometown, ‘ Ohio’. Eileen quickly becomes acquainted with various men around town who compete for her attention whilst leaving Ruth out in the cold, something, it seems, she is accustom to. One of Eileen’s various admirers, Bob Baker ( Michael Xavier), grows fond of Ruth and after some confusion, a love story blossoms. Based loosely on a true story of personal experiences by Ruth McKenney and her sister... Eileen. The characters are odd, yet relatable, and as we begin the journey down ‘ Christopher Street’, we are welcomed into the zany world that is New York City. Connie Fisher certainly brings the magic to the show as fiery Ruth Sherwood; a role that couldn’t be further away from Maria von Trapp. Nonetheless, Fisher is fantastically funny and full of charm, wit and charisma which truly define her as one of the finest musical theatre actresses of recent times; a genuine talent and a pleasure to watch. Eileen Sherwood, Ruth’s glamorous sister is played perfectly by Van Gasse, her angelic vocals entice the audience, as well as her male acquaintances. Her innocence and naivety is portrayed with underlying vulnerability that fits the character and script delightfully. Love interest Bob Baker, the fantastic Michael Xavier, has few chances to shine but when he does, he dazzles, particularly during ‘ It’s Love’, for which his emotions for Ruth are somewhat revealed. His charisma charms and authoritative presence make the perfect candidate for Ruth. Finally a chance for audiences to appreciate this fantastic musical story of the Sherwood sisters in all fine glory with this magnificent production and extremely talented cast. A totally refreshing revival of classical musical theatre. Wonderful Town plays at Birmingham Hippodrome through May 26 and tours nationwide until July. - by Kieran Johnson Related Content Back to Central Homepage
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