Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The Glorious Ones is a great little musical that's still running at Lincoln Center during the Broadway stagehands strike.

Based on a story by Francine Prose and musicalized by the Tony-winning team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, The Glorious Ones is a kind of chamber musical that follows the exploits of a colorful band of Italian commedia dell'arte players led by Flaminio Scala, played commandingly by stage veteran Marc Kudisch.

Rounding out the cast are Avenue Q's appropriately named Natalie Venetia Belcon as the sexy and regal Columbina, David Patrick Kelly as the doddering Pantalone, Julyana Soelistyo as the winningly winsome Armanda, John Kassir as the eccentric Dottore, Erin Davie (impressive in Grey Gardens) as the ingenue Isabella, and Jeremy Webb as the dynamic Francesco.

The Glorious Ones, which features bawdy comedy and Felliniesque approximations of period comedy routines is bawdy, strikes me as one of Lincoln Center's more successful literary musicals. Helping considerably is the pacing of director Graciela Daniele, abbeted by the small pit orchestra.

Rightly or wrongly, the show made me think of The Fantasticks. It's somewhat in line with such "on strike" Broadway offerings as A Chorus Line, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Monty Python's Spamalot.

If at all possible, aim for center seats; the sets and staging are largely geared toward the folks in the middle.

Illustration by Jim McMullan

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