Ethel Merman: Queen of Musical Comedy

musicals and operas · gaby rey productions · Ages 6+ · United States of America

family friendly one person show
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June 21, 2015
tagged as: musical comedy · show biz

My overall impression

It takes brass to write, produce and act in a one-woman show about a famous entertainer. Unfortunately, Gaby Rey hasn’t quite got the brass or the sass to pull off this impersonation of musical comedy legend Ethel Merman. She has a pleasant singing voice which she wisely amplifies with a face mic, and she can certainly hold a note, but she lacks the lung power and the pizzazz of La Merman. Worse, the script is monotonous and heavily expository; Ethel’s outrage over Rosalind Russell being cast as the mother in the movie version of “Gypsy” (which she originated on Broadway to huge success) fuels the show’s best moment, but it doesn’t last long before returning to the mundane. The singular costume looks good on Rey but is all wrong for the show; the lack of a director credit on the program is telling.

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