Long-term writing partners Maltby and Shire have been developing the new musical, inspired by the early 20th-century pioneers of flight, over the past three years and enlisted frequent Sondheim collaborator John Weidman, with whom the pair worked on the 1996 Broadway screen-to-stage musical Big, to craft the book (See News, 14 May 2007).
Take Flight is directed by Sam Buntrock and designed by David Farley, with musical supervision by Caroline Humphris, the same creative team behind the Menier’s five-time Olivier Award-winning revival of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, which transfers to Broadway’s Studio 54 in January. The 13-strong cast features Ian Bartholomew, Clive Carter, Michael Jibson, Sam Kenyon, Elliot Levey and Whatsonstage.com Award winner Sally Ann Triplett.
For most critics, while the material has its moments, it never quite takes off due largely to a disparate book in which three storylines compete for attention. However, there was praise for the production and its hard-working cast, with Sally Ann Triplett’s Amelia Earhart and Sam Kenyon and Elliot Levey’s comedy double act of the Wright Brothers noted as particular standouts.
- by Ryan Woods