Broadway’s 1985 production of Jerry’s Girls, a patchwork quilt of songs from the ever popular Jerry Herman, is currently in robust revival at The York Theatre. Musical theater veterans Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Christine Pedi, and Stephanie Umoh embody heroine after heroine (and a few heroes) under the Direction of Pamela Hunt. The able Eric Svejcar, sounding as rich and textural as an orchestra, is at his piano.
Herman’s musicals are represented with no particular chronology. For the uninitiated, projected images inform song sources. Other, intermittent photos signify eras. Vocalists enter and exit pushing wheeled music stands (this is a Mufti, not a full production.)
Stephanie D’Abruzzo’s “Tap Your Troubles Away” (Mack and Mabel) finds her happily dancing while for “Hello Lindon” (the Lyndon Johnson campaign version of “Hello Dolly”) she imitates Lady Byrd.
Christine Pedi shows her comic chops with a great rendition of “Gooch’s Song” from Mame, a role she could undoubtedly have played. Like Streisand in Funny Girl, the performer turns sideways to show us her unexpected pregnancy while her voice purposefully cracks with anxiety. Equally fine is the wry, distressed “Nelson” about working on screen with preening Nelson Eddy. In contrast, Pedi’s “Song on the Sand” (La Cage aux Folles) is tender and understated.
“It Only Takes a Moment” (Hello Dolly) shows off Stephanie Umroh’s pretty vibrato, her “Shalom” (Milk and Honey) is heartfelt; she and D’Abruzzo rise to the warm, sentimentality of “Kiss Her Now” (Dear World.) “I Am What I Am” arrives a stirring anthem eliciting audience applause.
Director Pamela Hunt skillfully moves her cast around, but does nothing to reign in either ham or a tendency towards allowing eleven o’clock numbers when the song doesn’t indicate them.
Photos by Russ Rowland
Opening: Stephanie Umoh, Christine Pedi, Stephanie D’Abruzzo
The York Theatre Company presents Musicals in Mufti:
Jerry’s Girls- music and lyrics by Jerry Herman
Concept by Larry Alford, Wayne Cilento, and Jerry Herman
A staged reading
Directed by Pamela Hunt
Music Direction- Eric Svecjar
Featuring Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Christine Pedi, Stephanie Umoh
The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter’s (619 Lexington Avenue, entrance on East 54th Street, just east of Lexington Avenue)
Through August 13, 2017