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Ethel Merman: Queen of Musical Comedy

musicals and operas · gaby rey productions · Ages 6+ · family friendly · one person show · United States of America

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JORDAN YOUNG certified reviewer June 21, 2015
tagged as: musical comedy · show biz
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 sho... full review
CHARLES ZIARKO certified reviewer June 15, 2015
A major disappointment of this year's festival, at least for me. Mainly a 50-minute lecture covering the life of Merman, in her own voice, in chronological order, with some snippets of songs familiar for their association with her. The Star was Too Young and Too Pretty for the part and, as a writer, evidenced some errors in chronology and lyrics. She does have a PIERCING voice, though it's not Merman's voice. The show needed (1) Props, (2) Variations in Costume, (3) Much More Singing (including Lesser Known Material) and (4) Much Less Plodding Narration! ... full review