On the Town

Skylark Opera at E.M. Pearson Theatre

Charles Gorrill

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On the Town
Skylark Opera at E.M. Pearson Theatre

Skylark Opera tackles Leonard Bernstein's jazzy ode to World War II-era New York with a well-acted and -sung production that could use a cup of coffee. The musical follows a trio of sailors on a one-day pass to see the sights—and maybe a few dames—before heading back to sea. They're a likeable trio of small-town types in the big, big city for the first time. The plot centers on sailor Gabey's attempts to track down Ivy, that month's "Miss Turnstyles" for the subway. Meanwhile, his friends Chip and Ozzie find their own dates for the day. There's a bunch more plot along the way, but it's mainly to get us from song A (in this case, "New York, New York") to B ("Lonely Town") to C. The company, led by Dieter Bierbrauer as Gabey and Sarah Lawrence as Ivy, is top-notch, as are the various pieces, from the orchestra to the strong choreography by Penelope Freeh, but the overall production is missing a spark. There's never a sense of the bustle of New York or the pressure of packing as much experience as possible into 24 hours, which makes a piece that should have a sense of the frantic feel almost placid. $25-$43. E.M. Pearson Theatre, Concordia University, 312 N. Hamline Ave., St. Paul; 612.343.3390. Through Sunday

 
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