Legendary lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II explained his and Richard Rodgers daring flop, Allegro thusly: "If men are continuing to squander their time and usefulness for the wrong things it would seem important to point this out to them. That is the simple reason why Allegro was written. If you don't like that reason, you won't like Allegro."
One of the most rarely produced shows of the Rodgers and Hammerstein canon, the 1947 musical opened to mixed reviews and ran less than a year on Broadway. The Lyric Theatre of Dallas, Texas, however, wants to give the tuner a two-week revival at their Dupree Theater Feb. 15-March 2 in honor of Rodgers' centennial.
The story of an Everyman, Allegro follows Joseph Taylor, Jr., as he grows up in a small Midwestern town, becomes a doctor, moves to Chicago where he is faced with corruption and greed and finds his only solace is back home in the burg of his youth. Songs in the score include "I Know It Can Happen Again," "A Fellow Needs a Girl," "So Far," "You Are Never Away," "Money Isn't Everything," "The Gentleman Is a Dope" and the title number. In 1994, New York's Encores! revived Allegro for the musical reading series' first season.
Allegro stars Shane Peterman, Dara Whitehead, Gina Biancardi, T.A. Taylor, Stacia Goad-Malone, David Stroh, Camille Carrell, Greg Allen, Corey Ellis, David Ellis, Jennifer Freeman, Laurie Granlund, Lisa Anne Haram, Melissa Jobe, Doug LoPachin, Rnady Pearlman, Ashyln Rust, Jay Taylor, Jacob Villarreal, James Williams, Susan Wyatt and Dennis Yslas.
Tickets are $15-$25. The Irving Arts Center's Dupree Theater is located at 3333 North MacArthur Boulevard. For reservations, call (972) 252-2787. — By Christine Ehren