Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Medium High Fidelity

Sometimes it helps to have low expectations. They're more easily exceeded! From the moment the swishy musical-theater-loving bartender at Wined Up on Sunday night cringed slightly at the mention of the new High Fidelity musical at the Imperial on West 45th, I feared for my semi-full-priced commitment this evening. I was pleasantly surprised with acting that wasn't that bad, songs that were well sung, a book that wasn't that painful, cool sets and a few blockbuster moments nearly worth the bust-out-laughter they produced ("We've got a 1-8-7 in aisle 4"). The first act spins its wheels a bit too much with the on-stage top-5 exes, but the second act delivers. Amanda Green's lyrics don't quite match up to her father Adolph and Betty Comden's, now both smiling down from that Great White Way in the sky, but they're not so bad that they get in the way of an otherwise decent show that deserves to run for a fair amount longer than lead actor Will Chase's last Broadway venture (Lennon). And the guy who plays the Jack Black character, Jay Klaitz, does a great job of nodding in Black's direction without doing a total copycat performance, and doo-wops his heart out in the finale. Nice pastiche moments (Neil Young, Springsteen...) the whole way through, and L., who was sitting in her first Broadway theater this evening, said the show did a good job of faithfully mixing elements from the Nick Hornby novel and John Cusack movie. Oh, and here's Jaime's recent four-item list of pluses.

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