Encores! Scores With I'm Getting My Act Together

By Steven Suskin
25 Jul 2013

Jennifer Sanchez and Renee Elise Goldberry
Photo by Joan Marcus
The songs are scored for an onstage five-piece rock combo, with the musicians stepping downstage to play subsidiary acting roles. Suitable for a 299-seater, this doesn't quite fill the 2,250 seat City Center. Goldsberry, however, makes up for the imbalance; the best moment of the show, in fact, is her rendition of Cryer and Ford's superb "Old Friend," which is performed with a piano-only accompaniment. (Musical director Chris Fenwick, who did a superb job two weeks ago with Off-Center's The Cradle Will Rock, is at the piano here.)

Other effective spots include "Dear Tom," "In a Simple Way I Love You" (from Rabinowitz), "Put in a Package and Sold" and "Lonely Lady" (which Goldsberry delivers a cappella). Also scoring is "Strong Woman Number," led by Sajous, who was a standout in a similarly small role in last winter's Forever Dusty.

Director/choreographer Marshall (Anything Goes, Nice Work If You Can Get It), who served as artistic director of Encores! for five seasons, seems to have relished the chance to do a full staging for the series. (Unlike other Encores! offerings, this one has a full set — albeit Off-Broadway style — by Derek McLane.) Marshall's work, and Goldsberry's performance, serve as a memorable cap to Encores! Off-Center's first season.

Click here to read Playbill.com's exclusive interview with Marshall.

During the opening night curtain call, Cryer and Ford — the first female composer/lyricist team to achieve a sustained career in American musical theatre — climbed onstage and received a strong, and fitting, ovation.

View the Entire Photo Gallery
Jennifer Sanchez, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Christina Sajous
Photo by Joan Marcus