“Come Fly Away” a new musical



Sinatra *****Once in awhile, it is an enjoyable experience to go to the theater for pure escape and the new production, now on the stage at The Bank Of America Theatre, “Come Fly Away” a new musical conceived and written by famed director-choreographer Twyla Tharp is just that. Eighty minutes of dance by a cast of energetic and talented dancers all to the memorable music sung by Frank Sinatra. There is a live band onstage ( who do some marvelous solos)  and they have stripped away the original music of the recordings used to keep the “live” touch that makes the music much more realistic.

For many young people, some who have never heard Sinatra and may not even know these songs, this will be a learning experience and for any young dance students or performers who are in hopes of one day being dancers, they will have an experience that will last for years. There is supposed to be a story in this 80 minutes of music and dance; a story about four couples who fall in and out of love to the glorious sounds of “Old Blue Eyes”. We get to witness a first kiss,a first dance, a first argument/fight and all of the emotions that are felt during a courtship, good or bad. I for one did not feel that all the stories were easy to read, but since the music was my kind of music- in “My Kind of Town”, I really didn’t care.

The cast is composed of 14 solid dancers who switch roles from performance to performance. This is a hard working ensemble working the magical Tharp steps and tosses for 80 solid minutes, so I can see the reason for this. Tonight’s main dancers were Mallauri Esquibel, Ron Todorowski, John Selya, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Marielys Molina, Anthony Burell, Matthew Stockwell Dibble and Meredith Miles- all terrific and their ensemble cast was composed of Marceea Moreno, Candy Olsen, Julius Anthony Rubio, Tanairi Sade Vazquez, Chehon Wespi-Tschopp and Michael Williams.

Fly The musical numbers- “26 Sinatra moments” alone make for a pleasant evening and will change your mood to one of love, no matter what took place during the day. “Stardust”, “Let’s Fall In Love”,”Yes Sir,That’s My Baby”,”Let’s Face The Music and Dance”,”Teach Me Tonight”,”The Way You Look Tonight/My Funny Valentine” and of course “May Way” and “New York,New York” and a heck of a lot in between. Ms  Molina and the Male ensemble’s “Lean Baby” was dynamite as was “That’s Life” done to perfection by Mr. Burrell and Ms Fitgerald. Each number had its own little flair and while over the years I have felt that Tharp was a bit overrated, she certainly uses her cast to the best advantage for this production.

“Come Fly Away” will be here through the 22nd of January ( another short run stop on the tour) with performances as follows:

The 12th and 13th at 7:30 p.m.,the 13th at 8 p.m.,Saturday the 14th at 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.- Next week, Tuesday the 17th at 7:30 p.m.,Wednesday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.,Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m.,Saturday the 21st at 2 and 8 p.m. and on Sunday, the 22nd only a 2 p.m. show.

Tickets range on price from $32-$95 ( which I feel is a bit high for an 80 minute show) but luckily the Bank Of America Theatre has great seating and this show works even from the balcony. To get your tickets visit any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices,The ticket kiosk at Water Tower Place, all Ticketmaster locations, call the Broadway In Chicago Ticketline at 800-775-2000 or visitwww.BroadwayInChicago.com where you might find some student specials or others when you place your order.

The Bank of America Theatre is located  at 18 West Monroe ( between State and Dearborn) with easy access by public transportation. If you are driving, parking is available on the nearby streets ( metered) or you might want to use the valet service at The Italian Village just down the street, where they have a charming menu and when you are going to hear “Old Blue Eyes”, isn’t Italian perfect?