Andrew Lippa brings us a loaded basket of his edgy, interesting creations with the American premiere of The Life Of the Party, songs in mini-production numbers from Lippa’s musicals. Highlights from The Wild Party, The Addams Family, Big Fish, A Little Princess and his outstanding oratorio from I Am Harvey Milk this review a sentimental blend for Lippa fans.
London’s Menier Chocolate Factory artistic director David Babani entwines Lippa and three solid actors to give the production a firm foundation for the most part. Broadway’s Sally Ann Triplett and Teal Wicks, and talented Damian Humbley from London sing, dance and keep their dressers backstage busy with detailed fast changes. They are solid in their delivery of Rebecca Howell’s choreography. The dance numbers cover just about every production stunt—from the Rockettes kicks to the hand jumble—used in musical theater. Amazing enough, it is done well and tickles the senses with four people doing what 36 usually deliver.
William Liberatore leads a small orchestra with a grand piano that slides on and off stage as needed. Brendan Aane’s sound and Tim Lufkin’s lighting bring the production up to the TheatreWorks usual fine standards.
The Life Of The Party is interesting with moments of being unusual. But that is Andrew Lippa: his work is an experience of edgy difference.
The Life Of The Party
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St, Mountain View
Performances through Sept 18
Tickets and Information: (650) 463-1960 or visit www.theatreworks.org