While it is great to see a full-scale live production of this musical, I must confess it stills leaves me cold. Alan Alda keeps talking about himself and the audience weeping through the performance and I can only wonder why. Kelli O'Hara manages well as Nelli, but I find her performance strictly one-dimensional, but then, this is Oscar Hammerstein not Eugene O'Neill so one can hardly expect depth of character in the writing. Paul Szot manages to 'act' better than most opera singers, only now we have a Brazilian playing a Frenchman, rather than an Italian, so the accent is unconvincing. Loretta Ables brings out a dark, demonic side to Bloody Mary, but then when she sings she sounds like your average Broadway belter, and when she shouts she is virtually unintelligible. Andrew Samonsky is your average 'pretty boy with no depth', and his singing voice is not kind to the sensitive ear and made me cringe. In the end one wishes they could have filmed it in a studio so more subtlety could be brought out in the performances. But then again this is Rodgers and Hammerstein so we can hardly expect subtlety, just the usual sledge-hammer morality.
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