Out.com Theater Reviews
Wonderful Town
Al Hirschfeld Theatre
302 W. 45th St., New York City

Ticket Info (212) 239-6200

Donna Murphy (pictured), best known for her solemn, Tony-winning performances in Passion and The King and I, gives a brilliantly funny, giddily joyous performance in Wonderful Town, all but assuring herself another gold statue in June. Murphy plays Ruth Sherwood, the brash, bookish older sister of magnetically attractive Eileen (Kissing Jessica Stein�s Jennifer Westfeldt). While Eileen gets all of the attention, Ruth stumbles around, taking her time to fall into her beauty and grace while never losing grip on her wit and guts. This 50-year-old show has a typical musical comedy plot: Two sisters move to New York to find their fortune, which they eventually fall upon, along with boyfriends and adventure. Directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, whose work has never been better, Wonderful Town explodes with cheer�ebullient takes on Jerome Robbins and Martha Graham choreography, quick and easy jokes, gimmicky concepts so silly you smile about them days later. The songs are by Bernstein, Comden, and Green, which means they�re great; but under Marshall�s direction, they are as alive as anything written for Broadway this year. None of the cast can match Murphy, but Westfeldt plays blonde with aplomb. It�s hard to blame Gregg Edelman for being dull, because his character is. But aside from his solo, nothing in the show is boring. It�s all wonderful.  Ted Gideonse
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