"TICKET TO THE MOON' by the 42nd Street Moon Company

June 18th was a grand night of singing when fifteen “monies” sang gorgeous songs from Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Sigmund Romberg, Arthur Schwartz, George and Ira Gershwin,  Rodgers and Hammerstein just to name a few.  All this occurred at the Alcazar Theatre is a review called “Ticket to the Moon”. 42nd Street Moon was kicking off their 20th anniversary season with a spectacular evening celebrating their past, present and future.  This invaluable  company is the only professional theatre company that features unknown musicals or seldom seen musicals to the San Francisco Bay Area audiences.

Greg MacKellan, co-artistic director announced to the audience at the beginning of the show that there would be grouped songs from musicals that they have presented in the past, musical that they have produced recently and musicals on their short list that they will present in the future.  He also announced the opening of the show would be the Finale Utimo from Strouse and Adams’s <i>Superman</i> that was  sung with great vibrato by the whole cast.   There were songs from Cole Porter’s “Jubilee”, “Can-Can”,’ Red Hot and Blue”,  Rodgers and Hart’s “I Married an Angel”, “A Connecticut Yankee” plus over 40 songs from various composers including songs from shows that I never even heard of.  This was one of the smoothest reviews I have seen in long time and it could run for weeks as a regular series on the Moon schedule.

Every one of the artist on stage had a place to shine in many of the numbers too numerous to mention all. Stephanie Rhoads, co-artistic director of the company, had beautiful vocal cords singing “Why Was I Born?” from Kern and Hammerstein “Sweet Adeline” and did a great rendition of “Home Sweet Heaven” from Martin and Grey’s “High Spirits”.   Bill Fahrner with his vibrant voice sang “Spring is Here” from Rodgers and Hart’s “I Married an Angel” and “Never Will I Marry” from Frank Loesser “Greenwillows”.  (I invested in this musical and received nothing back, however this was my most favorite song from the failed musical.)  Bill also joined Juliet Heller in the campy “Ting a Line Dearie” from Besoyan “The Student Gypsy” which was a great camp musical.

Steve Rhyne with pitch perfect resonance sang “It’s Delovely” from Cole Porter’s “Red, Hot and Blue” and joined Caroline Altman, Juliet Heller in “Cherry Pies Ought to Be You” from Cole Porter’s “Out of this World”.  He especially shined in a little know song from a very little musical from Harold Rome called “Plaza 6-9423” the story of a male escort. (Don’t ring the number; it is no longer in existence)

Darlene Popovic acting like an inebriating woman was a hoot singing “When I’m Drunk I’m Beautiful” from Styne and Merill’s “Pettybelle) and belted out “Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love” from Cole Porters’ “Leave it to Me”.  Rena Wilson was perky singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from Styne and Robin’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds” and joined with Juliet Heller in a countrified  version of “We Make a Beautiful Pair” from Geld and Udell “Shenandoah”.  Michael Patrick Gaffney was mellifluous singing “Me and Marie” with Caroline Altman and “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here” from Lerner and Lowe’s “On the Clear Day”. Caroline Altman scored with “Is it Really Me?” from Jones and Schmidt”s “110 in the Shade”.  Noel Anthony with powerful singing chops sang “The Desert Song” from Romberg and Hammerstein’s “The Desert Song” and did a fine rendition of Irving Berlin’s “You’re Just in Love” from “Call Me Madam” with Dyan  McBride.  She came into her own singing  “Whene the Tall Man Talks” from a show I invested in called “Whoop-up”.  Debbie DeCoudreaux was sublime singing “C’Est Manginfique” from Cole Porter’s “Can-Can” and later the lovely “A Sleepin Bee” from Arlen and Capote’s “House of Flowers”.   Sprightly Annie Donahey belted out “A Wonderful Day Like Today” from Bricusse and Newley “The Roar of the Greasepaint” “Poor Sweet Baby” from Grossman and Hackady’s “Snoopy”.

Alexandra Kaprielian did a perfect reading of “Do I Hear a Waltz” from Rodgers and Sondheim “Do I Hear a Waltz?”  Brandon Adams who accompanied some of the singers on piano came into his own singing “You Don’t Know Paree” from Cole Porter’s “Fifty Million Frenchman”.  Co Artistic Director call shined singing “I Don’t Want to Be President” from Akst and Brown “Calling All Stars”   The end of the first act ended with the Overture of Lerner and Loewe’s “Paint Your Wagon” with the whole chorus of Moonies singing snippets of this famous score. (.  The whole company also joined in the final “Of Thee I Sing” which will be presented in their fall season.  Once again pianist and Musical Director David Dobrusky was a great asset accompanied the singers.