In the realm of performing arts, modern musicals are a reliable target for skeptics, a condition wrought by too many uninspired revivals and gimmicky adaptations. Dismissing the form entirely, however, would mean missing such rewarding transformations as the Guthrie's new take on Roman Holiday. Based on the revered 1953 film, the story's familiar narrative follows the escapades of a young princess who seeks relief from her regal responsibilities by going incognito in the titular city. Abetting the princess in her unsanctioned vacation is an American reporter hoping to score a salacious scoop of regency gone wild. Naturally, such mercenary inclinations subside to romance as the Italian capital casts its amorous spell. Rather than simply retelling the film, the Guthrie has imbued the work with a superlative selection of Cole Porter classics, including "Easy to Love," "Just One of Those Things," and "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye." Though the cast is headlined by nationally known performers Stephanie Rothenberg and Edward Watts, the supporting parts are filled with an impressive stable of local talent, including a 21-member ensemble. John Miller Stephany, the Guthrie's associate artistic director, will be taking the reins and bringing the piece to vibrant life. No, the work might not redefine the modern musical as groundbreaking art, but Roman Holiday reasserts the musical's spellbinding sway as enchanting escapism. (Image by Michael Brosilow)
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: June 9. Continues through Aug. 19, 2012
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