What was I thinking on a hot summer day confined to a moving car headed toward the art capital of the Midwest, culture-cluster Ann Arbor in Michigan? “My hair is frizzy and my shorts are too tight and my feet are swelling and am I dressed up enough and will my dog Jack not peewee for about 12 hours until I return all exhausted from enduring hectic traffic and from sitting in the setting sun watching a 90 minute musical?” That’s what I was thinking. I clue you!
What I should have been daydreaming about is this: “My heavens, Cy Coleman composed this musical called ‘Little Me’ and he is responsible for the glorious ‘Sweet Charity’! My heavens, Patrick Dennis wrote the naughty novel itself, and he is responsible for the divine ‘Auntie Mame’! My heavens, Neil Simon adapted the book into the zaniest, most fast-moving, wittiest bit of shtick ever, and he is responsible for ‘Barefoot in the Park’, ‘The Odd Couple’, ‘The Good-Bye Girl’ , ‘Come Blow Your Horn’, and ‘Your Show of Shows’ starring my favorite television comedian in the whole wide world, the heretofore inimitable SID CAESAR! My heavens, the 95 roles that Roy fills to a ‘T’, and then some, got originated by the Caesar-King of Comedy himself! (Later revived by funny, nutty maniac Martin Short!)
I WAS NOT PREPARED for the tour de force provided by one ROY EDWARD SEXTON who seldom leaves the stage as he 150% convincingly out-SIDS SID! Roy first appears as a charmingly obnoxiously conceited over-achieving teenager named Noble Eggleston and right before our stunned eyes morphs into impossibly wealthy curmudgeon Mr. Pinchley, Frenchman Val Du Val, World War I soldier boy Fred Poitrine, film director Otto Schnitzler, Prince Cherney and Noble Junior — never breathless, always poised and consistently hilarious, costume and dialect and character intact. Pictures attached! Oh, yeah! The entire cast is terrific and “gets” the satire and “gets” the dry wit and happily, physically engages in slap-stick extraordinaire. I’d seen this “show” live in Indianapolis in the early 60s featuring movie star Donald O’Connor of “Francis the Talking Mule” and “Singing in the Rain” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Beau Geste” and oh, my oh, my! I do not even remember Donald…I can never forget Roy! He amazed even his own proud mom and pop!
Grab a ticket for Little Me (Saturday, July 20, 7 pm and Thursday-Saturday, July 25-27, 7 pm) at http://www.pennyseats.org. Enjoy your road trip! The rewards are great…even a delicious picnic basket for you and yours! You’ll run into Mr. & Ms. Sexton next week-end. We would not miss an opportunity to revel in this musical romp again and again! I ain’t never seen nuttin’ to compare in my nearly seven decades on Mama Earth! Trust me on this one!