You I Like: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Herman was conceived by Andy Einhorn (musical director/supervisor Broadway’s Hello, Dolly!), is directed by Mark Ciglar (Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman).The production is a fund-raiser streaming thru February 7 at PasadenaPlayhouseLive
The pre-show conversation started out with stories from Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Peters and Andy Einhorn about Hello Dolly! and Mack and Mabel. The trio delighted gave insight that Jerry Herman wrote to entertain. He saw how theater was becoming militant. Bernadette looked particularly wonderful. I loved hearing about the songs “Time Heals Everything” from Mack and Mabel and “Penny in my Pocket” from Hello, Dolly!”.
Now before I get to my review of the show I have to talk about the memorial for Herman held February 3, 2020 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. This show was so well done, had performances that were memorable and spectacular. The conversation were insightful and by the end you felt like you knew this prolific composer/lyricist. In this newest tribute to Herman, it becomes the Andy Einhorn show. He talks a lot and I found myself wishing there was more music than talk. In between every song was a mini monologue delivered by Einhorn. Einhorn is not really an actor and I also found myself asking where is Lee Roy Reams.
Starting off the musical sections was Lesli Margherita (Matilda The Musical), looking gorgeous in red singing Hello, Dolly! with the rest of the cast backing her up.
Nicholas Christopher (Hamilton), sang a beautifully and lyrical “I Belong Here” from The Grand Tour.
Ashley Blanchet (Frozen), followed with a joyful “Its Today” from Mame with all 3 girls joining in a Andrew Sister version. Great harmonies, but the arrangement was a little odd. Ashley continued with “Shalom” from Milk and Honey.
Nicholas Christopher (Hamilton), came back as mack Sennett with “Movie Were Movies” from Mack and Mabel
Andrea Ross (‘Maria’ in The Sound of Music National Tour) was a a soprano tour de force with the rarely sung “The Spring of Next Year” from Dear World.
and Ryan Vona (Once) gave a perky “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” from Hello Dolly!
Lesli Margherita and cast brought forth “Were Almost There” from The Grand Tour, as Andrea Ross gave a great rendition of “Gooch”s Song” from Mame.
Ryan Vona sang the rarely sung “Confessions to a Park Side Mother “from a lesser known Herman show Parade.
Lesli Margherita version of “Just Leave Everything to Me” from the film version of Hello, Dolly! seemed strained. She was joined by Ashley Blancett for “Bosom Buddies” from Mame
Nicholas Christopher sang a male version of “If He Walked Into My Life” from Mame.
Andy now singing “You I Like” The Grand Tour was joined by Ryan Vona and Nicholas Christopher giving us some great harmony.
Ryan Vona on guitar sang a haunting “Marianne” from The Grand Tour was a great edition.
Andrea Ross sang a mash up of “It Only Takes a Moment” from Hello, Dolly! /and “Let’s Not waste a Moment” from Milk and Honey. Andrea has a beautiful lower register and large range.
Lesli Margherita brought us “Look Over There” from La Cage Aux Folles
Ashley Blanchet and Nicholas Christopher brought a mash up of “Time Heals Everything” and “I Won’t Send Roses from Mack and Mabel.
Considering how many “Title Songs” Herman wrote a melody with the entire cast brought us Mame/ Milk and Honey/ Dear World/ La Cage Aux Folles and Hello, Dolly!
Ending the show was Lesli Margherita on a strained “I am What I am” from La Cage. Then Nicholas Christopher brought the house down with “A Little More Mascara” also from La Cage, which was the best song in the show.
Ryan Vona gave an emotional “I Don’t Want to Know” from Dear World
Ashley Blancett gave us “Before the Parade Passes By’ from Hello, Dolly!
And “The Best Of Times” finished the show off with Andy and cast.
The piece is well filmed, but it was strange seeing empty theatre seats as we are seeing the show and having comment distracts, especially when they seems unbias.
Despite my criticisms hearing the joyful music of Herman is a delight in these times and anytime. He shows us the joy of musical theatre and a world in which we all want to live.
You can catch the video-on-demand streaming of You I Like: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Herman for $24.99 until February 7.