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Off Broadway

Subways Are for Sleeping Just What The Doctor Ordered

Subways Are for Sleeping Just What The Doctor Ordered
David Josefsberg, Kilty Reidy, David Engel, Karl Josef Co, Eric William Morris

David Josefsberg, Kilty Reidy, David Engel, Karl Josef Co, Eric William Morris Photo by Ben Strothmann

Jule Styne’s Subways Are for Sleeping, has a delightful score, an interesting book and lyrics by Betty Comdem and Adolph Green and a talented cast that makes you fall in love with them.

David Josefsberg, Gina Milo

David Josefsberg, Gina Milo Photo by Ben Strothmann

Subways Are for Sleeping is one of the few shows I knew basically little about, so I couldn’t wait to catch this 1961 show in Mufti at The York Theatre.

Karl Joseph Co, Beth Glover, Kilty Reidy, David Engel,Kathryn McCreary, Gerry McIntrye, Alyse Alan Louis, Eric William Morris

Karl Joseph Co, Beth Glover, Kilty Reidy, David Engel,Kathryn McCreary, Gerry McIntrye, Alyse Alan Louis, Eric William Morris Photo by Ben Strothmann

Based on Edmund G. Love’s book the show tells the tale of a group of well-dressed homeless people sleeping in the subways of New York. These individuals live by their own rules and appreciate life. Angie (Alyse Alan Louis, Amélie), is a young reporter curious on how this society manages and goes undercover to learn how the other half lives. In meeting the ring leader Tom (Eric William Morris, Mamma Mia), a one-man employment agency who finds other drifters odd jobs and sleeping quarters, Angie begins to see there might be another way to experience the world.

Gina Milo

Gina Milo Photo by Ben Strothmann

In the meantime ex-rich boy Charlie (David Josefsberg, Honeymoon in Vegas), meets the adorable drifter Martha (Gina Milo, Les Misérables)  and falls head over heals. Thier songs “I Was a Shoo-In”, “Strange Duet”and “I Just Can’t Wait” are some of the best songs lyrically in the show. You can see that Jules Styne definitely had an influence over Sondheim’s patter songs.

Eric William Morris, Alyse Alan Louis, David Josefsberg, Gina Milo

Eric William Morris, Alyse Alan Louis, David Josefsberg, Gina Milo Photo by Ben Strothmann

As identities are revealed, conflict ensues, love wins the day and the gorgeous “How Can You Describe a Face”, “Comes Once In A Lifetime” and the up-lifting “What Is This Feeling In The Air” finish the show leaving the audience feeling restored.

Eric William Morris

Eric William Morris Photo by Ben Strothmann

Eric William Morris is a find. He truly makes us fall in love with him and we pray for something good to come into his life. With his powerful vocals, winning charm and boyish good looks, I hope to see more of Mr. Morris. Alyse Alan has chemistry with Mr. Morris and when you read the playbill, you understand why. Happily married these two are adorable together. Ms. Alan comes alive in the second act to a winning finish. Louis, David Josefsberg almost gets a standing ovation on his number, as does the comedic Gina Milo, whose song is the hardest in the show. With  vocal gymnastics and acting tour de force piece, it is easy to see why Phyllis Newman won the Tony over Barbra Streisand.

Karl Josef Co (York’s Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: A Musical Voyage), David Engel (La Cage aux Folles), Beth Glover (Take Me Along) as Myra Blake/Ensemble, Kathryn McCreary (The Phantom of the Opera), Gerry McIntyre (Once On This Island) and Kilty Reidy (The Drowsy Chaperone) round off the this wonderful ensemble. David Hancock Turner has made them all sound fabulous under his musical direction.

Stuart Ross (Enter Laughing) directs this piece like a subway train, perfectly tuned, comedically well paced, to a winning finish. I loved the projection design by Lacey Erb, that was well lit by Graham Kindred.

Jule Styne’s music shows blue notes, that drift off into satisfying musical endings. I would love to see this piece fully staged.

In a season where shows leave you feeling more than slightly depressed, head to The York Theatre and catch this really well done gem.

Subways Are for Sleeping: The York Theatre, 619 Lexington Ave, until February 18th.

 

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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