Don’t disparage the chance to watch theater or hear music while enjoying a meal. It has the old time charm of the big band era. Thinking of dining while being entertained reminds me of ball gowns and tuxedos– in short it simply sounds elegant. Even the vulgar were properly attired in those days.
In our loosey goosey environs, the chances are that you are decked out in an elegant pair of shorts with a tucked in shirt. You order a burger, rather than prime rib, and beer rather than bubbly.
The show, too, may be less burlesque, drama, lounge act and cabaret than it might be one of those guess- who-dunnits from the murder mystery circuit. Don’t get me wrong, there is room for an amusing evening in which we wonder which of our neighbors stuck a knife in a sidekick’s back while we ate our fries! It just is not as highbrow or as uplifting as theater can sometimes be. The dramatics and dramatization may be broader than on Broadway, too.
As for the dress code for the audience, well, I haven’t worn a gown to a show in a long time, if ever. I look to the costume designer to dress the actors in an inspirational way. I can aspire to high-falutin’, ya know.
Musicals in Mufti is a York Theatre Company tradition, in the vein of City Center’s Encores! series.
Starting Here, Starting Now, playing at the York through March 20th,is a revue of music on which David Shire (music) and Richard Maltby, Jr (lyrics) collaborated. The collection of theater songs began life as an off-Broadway production in the ’70s and had success with MTC when it played at the Bohemian National Home. . Maltby also directs this production, which has music direction by Kevin Stites, and a three-member cast featuring Krystal Joy Brown, Charlotte Maltby, and Bobby Conte Thornton.
Starting Here, Starting Now is amusing, intimate and touching. Some of the songs are almost mini-playlets, like “We can talk to each other,” or “Crossword puzzle,” each delivered with smarts by the cast.
“One step” is a show-stopping number in the style of Fosse, and Krystal, Charlotte and Bobby pull it off with plenty of pizazz.
Many musical numbers from Starting Here, Starting Now are very familiar. Streisand has recorded a few, including the title track. “I don’t remember Christmas” is a personal favorite.
For more information on Musicals in Mufti, the York Theatre Company and Starting Here, Starting Now, please visit www.yorktheatre.org/