Somehow it should seem appropriate that Inventing Mary Martin is as corny as Kansas in August. But the kind of corniness prevalent in conceiver-writer Stephen Cole's revue, at the York, tributing one of Broadway's great musical comedy leading ladies, is never welcome.
More than anything the script is presenting a woman's world. With only women on stage, he suggests that families are, possibly more often than not, women's domains. If this is what he has in mind, he realizes his intentions extremely well.
Truth is, Tyrell's effortlessly infallible phrasing has the effect of making what he does appealingly conversational. The emotion he's experiencing is a component of his seemingly off-handed -- smile-smile-smile -- style. Let's just say he's singing for all generations.
As popular as P. G. Wodehouse and his creations, suave manservant Jeeves and first-prize twit Bertie Wooster, have been for almost 100 years, they've apparently never toddled onto a West End stage until -- wait for it! -- now.
In recent decades, movie musicals that began as full-length animation features and original movie musicals have become multi-million dollar stage vehicles drawing audiences into theatres in cities around the world.
Of course, when songs so ebullient and/or passionate are this good, who's going to complain? Although a number of the Encores! dust-offs have moved to Broadway, this one certainly won't. Never mind, since it has enough going for it right where it is.
We in the theatre have known for a long, long time that the show must go on. I'd venture to say that there's only one man in Washington who knows this in his bones -- National Endowment for the Arts chair, Rocco Landesman.